Monday, January 25, 2010

West Florida to the East Coast

January 25, 2010

The Feast of the Conversion of St. Paul

Peace and Good,

I had a mission this past week in St. Joan of Arc Parish in Spring Hill, Florida (about 45 miles north of Tampa). It is a medium sized parish and most of the parishioners are retired. The mission centered on the Gospel of Luke. We had an excellent turn out all week, and the confessions were especially moving.

Most of my extra work these past couple of weeks has been catching up on the daily reflections. I have finished up to the end of February, so I can go back to a couple of my writing projects.

I finished two books in this period. One was a biography of Leo Tolstoy by Henri Troyat. The biography was very, very long (as fits Tolstoy whose novels go on forever). They say that he was almost like God, because he created and peopled an entire world in each of the books that he had written. Troyat is a French scholar, and the book was extremely well done. The only problem is that it does not especially make you like Tolstoy. He had wonderful ideas of pacifism and non-exploitation of the poor, but he was also incredibly judgmental. He and his wife had a very stormy relationship. He died, in fact, when he was running away from home. In his younger years, he made all sorts of resolutions and didn't keep a one of them. They say that in his books his characters show the various dimensions of ideas and show the positive and negative throughout their lives. His characters are very similar to what he is.

The second book that I finished was a biography of Alexander II of Russia by Edvard Radzinsky. Right now I'm on a bit of a Russian kick. This was the czar who liberated the serfs (who were often treated as little better than slaves). He was assassinated by anarchists who prefigured the characters of the Russian revolution. Again, the book was very, very well written, presenting and insight both into Alexander and into the minds of the revolutionaries.

Here is a copy of my calendar for the next couple of months:

01/30/10 - 02/04/10: St. Gregory, the Great Catholic Church, San Diego, CA - Parish Mission

02/06/10 - 02/11/10: Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church, Lakeside, CA - Parish Mission

02/13/10 - 02/18/10: Holy Trinity Catholic Church, El Cajon, CA - Parish Mission

02/20/10 - 02/25/10: St. Aloysius Catholic Church, Leonardtown, MD - Parish Mission

02/27/10 - 03/04/10: St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Oceanside, CA - Parish Mission

03/06/10 - 03/10/10: Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church, Harborcreek, PA - Parish Mission

03/13/10 - 03/17/10: St. Joseph Catholic Church, Pomfret, MD - Parish Mission

03/20/10 - 03/25/10: St. Lucie Catholic Church, Port St. Lucie, FL - Parish Mission

03/29/10: Walter Reed Army Medical Center - Noon Mass & Talk

03/30/10: St. Louis Catholic Church, Clarksville, MD - Knights of Columbus Talk "The Passion Narratives"

God bless and

fr. Jude


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