Santa Clara University


"The retreat at the beginning of the sabbatical helped me transition from my previous ministry as Provincial, gave me focus and direction and set an atmosphere for New Directions sabbatical experience".

Mary Owens, IBVM
Nairobi, Kenya

"There was quiet time for prayer and reflection, and planning for next steps in ministry."

Rev. Tony McGuire
San Mateo, California

Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley

Spiritual Renewal


The Opening Retreat

Your sabbatical begins with a silent, directed retreat of five days, during which time you will meet daily with a spiritual director. Students reflect on their lives and careers up to this point. The quiet of the retreat and the experience of praying together provide an opportunity to slow down from the demands of ministry and travel, listen to God's call, gain focus for your sabbatical time, and connect with other participants in the group. During the retreat a sense of community begins to build through our shared liturgies.

New Directions Sabbatical participants gather in liturgical prayer

The dates for the Fall 2014 retreat are August 17-22, 2014. The location is El Retiro Jesuit Retreat House in Los Altos, California. El Retiro sits on 38 wooded acres of serene grounds atop a hill with beautiful vistas of the area. Many scenic walks are available on the property and a small redwood grove is located just off the grounds. For more information, visit

Ongoing Spiritual Supports

Spiritual direction is central to your New Directions experience and is one of the main means for integrating the various elements of your sabbatical. Participants choose a spiritual director from a list of qualified directors that the school maintains, and they meet with their director regularly. The spiritual director will be an important companion on your sabbatical journey.

Sabbatical cohort together at the altar

The program provides free time for your prayer and reflection, allowing adequate time for renewal and refreshment in a relaxed atmosphere.

New Directions participants typically meet as a group twice each month to share their life journeys in a faith context. This is a privileged opportunity to recount one's personal narrative, and to support one another's desires for health and holiness.

For those who seek a 12-step support group, many options are available in the Berkeley area. Contact the Program Director for more information, or conduct your own Web Search for Berkeley and Oakland neighborhood support groups.

On-Campus Liturgies

You are welcome to participate in the morning Eucharist at the Jesuit Community chapel Monday through Saturday; the School sponsors liturgies Tuesday through Friday afternoons, with a special all-school Eucharist on Tuesdays. Participants also enjoy the opportunity to attend the Sunday liturgies of the diverse parishes in the Bay Area. You can click here for more information on liturgies.

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Contact Information

Robert W. McChesney, S.J.

Director of New Directions Sabbatical Program
(510) 549-5046
1 (800) 824-0122

Natalie Terry

Graduate Assistant for the New Directions Sabbatical Program

Jesuit School of Theology
ATTN: New Directions
1735 LeRoy Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709
United States of America

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