In the Fall of 2007, I began studying for the Masters of Divinity degree which is required for ordination as a Catholic priest at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University. During the Intercession of my first year, I was privileged to travel to Mexico with the rest of my class for a cultural immersion program. We studied language, music, history, and art of the various cultures throughout Mexico. We visited the Anthropological Museum and Baile Folklorico. One weekend, I had the opportunity to venture out to Malinalco to visit a parish that was nearly 500 years old with some of the original wall mural paintings intact. I lived in Arrupe House, one of several Jesuit houses that make up the Jesuit presence in Berkeley. The community was wonderfully diverse and I enjoyed the opportunity to live with men from Rwanda, The Republic of Congo, Korea, England, Vietnam, Mexico, and Columbia. We took turns cooking dinner and it a real treat to enjoy some of the food that my brothers prepare.
During the Intercession of my second year, I was fortunate to do an immersion trip to Nepal as part of a course on inter-religious dialogue. It was a wonderful opportunity to learn both about Tibetan Buddhism and Hinduism. En route to Nepal we stopped in Hong Kong and were able to venture in to downtown and enjoy the view from The Peak. Once in Nepal, we visited a variety of religious temples, received a tour of the works of the Missionaries of Charity (founded by Mother Teresa), witnessed animal sacrifices, and cremation ceremonies. We spent some time in prayerful reflection on a Buddhist style retreat and were able to tour the country side. One day, we decided to take advantage of the opportunity and took the flight to see Mount Everest and the other Himalayan mountains. It was a fascinating opportunity with breathtaking views!
In October 2009, I was ordained a transitional deacon and had the opportunity to serve the community of Saint Agnes Parish in San Francisco. I was privileged to be able to proclaim the Gospel and preach to such a richly diverse and inspiring community.
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