Letter from the Director

Dear Friends,

During the last days of our spring Sabbatical, with a radiant group of gifted participants from the U.S. and around the globe (Philippines, Ireland, Haiti, Sierra Leone, England, Nigeria, Cameroon, and Canada), we acknowledge SAT’s move from St. Albert’s Priory and the closing of our books with much gratitude and hope. Our theme is: “For all that has been, ‘Thanks,’ for all that will be, ‘Yes’” (Dag Hammarskjold).

For our dedicated personnel, present and past, living and deceased, including SAT’s leadership, presenters, staff, and other team members, thanks.

For our founder, Fr. Eugene Zimmers, SJ, who, in 1960 had a radical idea that the Church would need trained lay ministers, and who founded the Institute of Lay Theology (ILT), at the University of San Francisco (USF), thanks.

For the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), who, in 1968 invited ILT to join the consortium, at which point we moved from San Francisco to Berkeley and changed our name to the School of Applied Theology (SAT), thanks.

For Frank Neiman and Maureen Therese McGroddy, RSHM, who responded to the shift from a laity-focused program to one responding to clergy and men and women religious, who built our graduate and renewal programs over many years, and who secured our offices and, later, housing at St. Albert’s Priory, thanks.  

For Br. Bernie LoCoco, FSC, Kathleen Gannon, OSF, Aileen Hallissy, and all the people who contributed skillfully and abundantly to SAT’s mission of offering a holistic Sabbatical experience, based in rest, renewal, and transformation, thanks.  

For Br. Stan Sobczyk, FSC, Jim Briggs, and Sr. Celeste Crine, OSF, for nurturing SAT’s mission and expanding it to include people, who, without sufficient resources for a full semester or two of Sabbatical, were provided with renewal for a day, a week, or several weeks during the fall and spring semesters as well as through the Summer Spirituality Series, thanks.

For our friend and bookkeeper of seventeen years, Corinne Florek, OP, our Marketing Designer, Ariel Mulvaney, our grant writer, Jim Corr, and the most recent addition to our staff, Karen Sjoholm, who, as well as being one of our gifted presenters, joined our team when we were in great need of her assistance and skills, thanks.  

For our volunteers, Katie Hayes and Marilyn Coffy, who were formerly acknowledged on page 8 of the May 7 issue of the Catholic Voice, thanks.

For our Trustees, past and present, with special mention of the most current members of our Board, who have braved with grace and generosity our current challenges and transition: Michele Idiart Walsh (Chair); Br. Kevin Slate, FSC (Vice Chair);  Robert Holloway (Treasurer); Reiss Potterveld. Ph.D. (Ex officio); Toinette M. Eugene, Ph.D.; Mary E. McGann, RSCJ, Ph.D; and Mary Frances Michaels, thanks.

For the JST Renewal Program, with the Jesuit School of Theology (JST)-Santa Clara University (SCU), Berkeley, who will continue our mission of offering quality, holistic Sabbatical and renewal programs to clergy, men and women religious, and laity, thanks.  For Alison Benders, Ph.D., Associate Dean of JST-SCU, Bruce Lescher, Ph.D., Director of the JST Renewal Program, and the Director to come, and their gracious efforts to continue to bring this shared mission to fruition, thanks.

For our dear friends and benefactors, too numerous to mention by name, thanks.

Most of all, for our alumni, near and far, thanks.  You are the reason for SAT’s existence and the greatest enduring source for our gratitude.

For all that has been, thanks.

With the SAT Board, who determined that the JST Renewal Program would be the very best venue for the purpose of continuing our mission, we say yes.

With the courageous and faithful SAT leadership who took a leap of faith to continue with the spring semester of Sabbatical when we were facing a potential financial shortfall, and for those who agreed to cover the gap should it occur, we say yes.

With the generous hearts that donated $15,557 following our winter appeal to help cover SAT’s costs this spring, we say yes.

With the Koch Foundation, who responded with a $10,000 grant to our request for a grant for scholarships, we say yes.

Because of this courage, SAT not only made ends meet but we also have a significant gift (we are projecting around $40,000 for scholarships, operational expenses, and programmatic needs) to donate to the future of Sabbatical through the JST Renewal Program.  We say yes because what matters most to us is to be able to continue this mission of offering quality, holistic Sabbatical offerings to clergy, women and men religious, and laity who are seeking renewal in mind, body, and spirit. 

For the mysterious unfolding into the future and for all that will be, yes.

In gratitude and communion,

Carrie Rehak, Ph.D.
Executive Director