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Karin Heller
(2003-present) associate professor of theology Warm greetings to all of you who read this letter! After a very busy sabbatical in spring 2008 I was quickly back on track in fall. My schedule was particularly intense, because, in addition to all of my other classes, I taught a new M.A. course in Christian Spirituality. It was wonderful to walk these mature students through the lives and teachings of Augustine, Benedict, Teresa of Avila and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. This teaching experience was certainly a highlight of my academic year. Thank you to all who have worked so hard to put this program together and to get it off the ground after so many years of discussion.

Then, in November my father passed away suddenly in Austria. His funeral was on Thanksgiving Day. It was the beginning of a long winter marked by going back and forth between the U.S. and Europe, while lectures, Core 150 discussion groups, meetings, advising, proof reading of articles, study of new material, and academic writing had to go on. But after my second successful cataract surgery, reading was again a true pleasure to me and I was thrilled to say good-bye to glasses! Another highlight of this year was the opportunity to offer a new class entitled Gospel of Luke. I will teach it for the first time in spring 2010. Thank you very much, dear colleagues, for approving this project. Next fall, I'll certainly miss Todd Cioffi, who will leave Whitworth for a new position. His comments on my final version of an article to be published soon in the Acts of a Congress on"The Catholic Church and Modernity" organized by Tilburg University/NL, will remain a delightful and unforgettable moment of my academic life at Whitworth. May the Lord guard his and each of our own "leaving and coming back, now and for always" (Ps 121:8).

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