Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Catching Up At Home: St. Joseph Cupertino Friary: May 24 - May 30, 2009

June 2, 2009

Peace and Good,

I have been home in Ellicott City for most of this past week. It was good to be back with the friars. As you can see in my other blogs, I am out on the road most of the time, and that is rough for a Franciscan Friar, especially in the Conventual branch of the friars. Our name, Conventual Franciscan Friars, comes from the fact that in our early days we were the friars who lived in the convents in the cities (as opposed to many of the other friars who lived in the countryside). One of our main charisms was living in community. Thus, it is not easy to be away from home so often and for so long. This year's main theme, the writings of St. Paul, has given me a lot of consolation. We all have our special gifts, and mine, I believe, is to be out on the road like St. Paul was. I often ask people how many missionary journeys Paul made. In most Bibles, there are maps which show four journeys, but my answer is that he had only one journey. Once he encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus, Jesus was his home, wherever he might be. That has to be true for me as well. Wherever I am, I have to make my home in Jesus and in those with whom I am staying.

This past weekend I went down to Virginia Beach, Virginia, to officiate at the wedding of my nephew Brian and his bride Sarah. Right from the time of the practice I noticed how respectful the wedding party was. This is not always the case. Brian and Sarah had chosen young women and men (family and friends) who were joyful but also mature. The readings that Sarah and Brian chose were from Genesis (the idea that man and woman were made for each other), First John (that we learn what true love is from God's example), and the Gospel of John (the Wedding Feast of Cana, the idea that God is extravagant in his blessing and calls us to gratitude and celebration). The wedding team at the parish was most welcoming and helpful (again, not always the case in all parishes).

I have finished a couple of books. I read a book by Bob Drury and Tom Clavin called Halsey's Typhoon. Halsey was known as a fighting admiral, and normally that attitude served him well. But in December of 1944 his fleet ran into a terrible typhoon and many lives were lost. He was very slow in reacting to the disaster (possibly because shortly before he had left the troops invading the Philippines largely unprotected as he chased after an enemy fleet and was accused of abandoning his post). It made me reflect on how our actions can be so influenced by what preceded them. It is so important to take context into account for ourselves and others. The authors of this book, unfortunately, have a tendency to look for heroes and villains.

I also finished a book on tape: Ken Follett's World Without End. He is generally a good author, but he has that hero/villain tendency even more than the authors of the preceding book. All of his villains are Church officials: bishops, priests and monks. I am getting tired of books and stories in which Church figures are evil, vain, avaricious, etc. - without any virtue whatsoever. I know full well that this is sometimes true (but not always).

As I listened to the book, I found myself getting angry (and I have a rule of thumb that when I get angry, something is going on inside of my own heart). Obviously, some of my frustration at the book was what I mentioned in the paragraph above. But another part is that in these past few years I have met clergy who are into the power game. Again, they are a minority, but they can do so much harm to the Church when their only concern is their career and the power they can exercise over others. I have to keep going back to prayer on this (both for them and for myself so that I not fall into this tendency).

I finished another set of CD's: the Holy Spirit in the Bible. They are available in the catalog on the companions site, or you can order them at my e mail address (frajude@juno.com). There are 3 CD's in this set (I think that they cost $18).

I will be home again this week. This weekend I will be giving a retreat at the Dominican Retreat House in McLean, Va.

God bless and

fr. Jude


  1. Your response to your feeling of anger has given me food for thought. In the future, I resolve to examine my own heart when I feel angry and then take those issues to God in prayer.

    I love the sense of peace that permeates your blog. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts with us.

  2. Peace and Good,
    Thanks for your feedback. I truly appreciate it. Sometimes writing a blog, you don't know if you're talking into the wind, but I have to keep reminding myself that the Spirit will take care of whatever the Spirit wants to come of this.
    fr. Jude

  3. I came across your website while I am trying to find out whether there is a parish church in the Philippines dedicated to Saint Joseph of Cupertino. I don't know where to ask. I am not sure if I am asking at the right place, but I hope you could enlighten me on this matter. Thank you and God bless. - charmie

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