The South African Catholic Bishops Conference are delighted to offer an opportunity for renewal in Ministry. 

If you have fallen into a rut; if your energy is low; if your feel tired all the time; if you you are struggling in your prayer life, perhaps you need to take time to rest and ponder again on God’s call in your life.

Nourishing one’s soul and discovering a new perspective calls for both a change of pace and a change of location, both of which St Luke’s retreat centre can offer. 


The sabbatical is designed to provide a restful environment where participants can reflect prayerfully on their vocation and ministry in the church today. It is for priests and religious women and men who have been ordained or solemnly professed for ten years or more, and who are looking for a time of renewal. (An exception to the ten-year rule can be made on application.)

In order to offer a holistic experience, the sabbatical combines opportunities for personal reflection, study, spiritual direction and times of recreation. The teaching and study components of the sabbatical are usually offered in the mornings from Monday to Friday. There will be opportunities for daily meditation and personal prayer, communal celebration of Morning Prayer as well as daily celebrations of the Eucharist.

A few of the afternoons and evenings are unscheduled, providing ample time for reading, rest, and recreation. Spiritual direction will be offered on a regular basis.


Ms Phumeza Mkontwana who will be part of the opening week of the sabbatical which focuses on helping the candidates to “step into the Sabbatical” There will be a segment on living a healthy lifestyle which will include exploring our diet, exercise, gentleness with self, and forgiveness. There will also be exercises to help people to get to know each other, along with drawing up some expectation on how people will journey together over the three months of the sabbatical. 

Fr Charles Browne S.C.J. from the USA, who will be presenting a scripture course on St Paul – Pastor of the New Creation

Nonthando Hadebe, Johannesburg who will be presenting on Laudate Si / Deum

Fr Lubabalo Mguda, who will be presenting a module on Mindfullness

Sr’s Breda and Martha, Mercy Sisters, will lead a one week Retreat around the middle of the sabbatical which will focus on different models of Prayer

Fr Joel Skhosana, from St John Vianney Seminary, will do a short presentation on Ubungoma, which has to do with questions of culture and church.

Fr Hugh Lagan, from Ireland, will do two modules, one on Mid Life Transitions, and the second on Personal Leadership Strengths.

Fr Mluleki Mnyaka, from Port Elizabeth, will present a short segment on Prison Ministry

Sr Gemma Simmonds CJ, from the UK, who will hopefully present a course on the sacrament of Baptism: Priest Prophet and King, which focuses on baptism and its meaning in our life.

Fr Anh Nhue, who is currently the secretary General for the Pontifical Society of Missionary Union, will present a course on Mission and Synodality.

In addition, each Day begins with Morning Prayer and Mass. Participants will have an opportunity to meet with a spiritual director once a week.

Capacitar: Once a week Ms Moira Boshoff will run a course called Capacitar, a series of exercises that helps restore balance to the body, mind and spirit and offers people tools to deal with the stress in their lives.

In the course of the Sabbatical we have several outings including a visit to the Kragga Kamma game reserve; the ADDO National Elephant Park and other places of interest in and around Port Elizabeth.


This Sabbatical programme is not designed as a time of therapy in the sense that it does not cater for the needs of individuals who are confronting major medical and psychological challenges, but it will provide a holistic approach to life with the assistance of lecturers, spiritual directors and consultants who will make presentations on the various aspects of the Christian Life.


The sabbatical will take place at St Luke’s Retreat Centre, 10 Park Lane, Port Elizabeth, from the afternoon of Monday the 8th April to the morning of Thursday the 27th June 2024.

The total cost of the Sabbatical is R40 000.00 per person and includes accommodation, meals, spiritual direction, and all scheduled retreats and spirituality programmes. It also includes a number of excursions during the three-month period.

A deposit of R4 000 is payable on application, with the balance of R36 000 being paid before the sabbatical begins. It is advisable for participants to make prior arrangements for any medical expenses that might arise.

Note: R 40 000 = (US$ 2200), R 4 000 = (US$ 220), R 36 000 = (US$ 1980)

The presenting team will be made up of a diverse group of both local and international presenters. In addition, spiritual directors and other resource persons will be available throughout the Sabbatical.


The number of people we can accommodate on the sabbatical is limited. To secure a place please submits your application as soon as possible. You can download a registration form on the bottom of this page or you can request a registration form by phoning the Sabbatical Director on 082 825 6301 or by emailing

Please return your form with a copy of your proof of payment. For more information, contact: Fr Jerry Browne using the details given above.

Please note that participants from outside South Africa, may need to apply for a 3 month visa to enter the country.