Monday, February 8, 2010

St. Gregory the Great: Award Winning Church

February 8, 2010

Peace and Good,

I am now in California. The first parish on this three week series in San Diego was St. Gregory the Great. It is an incredibly beautiful Church. It was awards for the magnificence of its church architecture. From the outside, it has a copper dome that reminds one of an Orthodox Church. The inside is filled with columns and lines that almost overwhelm one.

The missions was on the Gospel of Luke. I covered many of the major themes in the Gospel including compassion, prayer, discernment, forgiveness of sins, the Blessed Virgin Mary, etc.

On Saturday morning I had a session with the ministers in the parish. There was a tremendous turn out and I spoke on the psalms as forms of prayer for people involved in the ministry.

Once again, confessions were great. We had a healing service on Wednesday night that was well attended. I perform a semi-charismatic anointing. The people are seated, which means that no one is slain in the Spirit. I do this because I always found it distracting when people would fall down (both for me and for the people being anointed). People would begin to measure the value of the service by how many people fell, and if someone didn't fall, that person often felt cheated. This way it is quiet and peaceful.

I finished three books this week. The first was the House of the Seven Gables by Nathanael Hawthorne. Year ago, when I was a seminarian, we visited Salem and we saw a house that would have been similar to that which Hawthonre writes about. (It wasn't the exact house, for he, himself, writes that his idea was more of an amalgam than an actual house). I always wanted to read the story, but never got to it. I found Hawthonre's descriptions incredible. He can go on for pages speaking about the simplest thing. The book is about a family curse that carries down generations, and is only healed with love. I would recommend the book.

The second book was Nixon and Mao: The Week that Changed the World by Margaret Macmillan. It was about the break in the cold war front between China and the United States. The book was well written and gave all the necessary information to see all sides of the picture. The only difficulty is that it occasionally did not speak enough of the fact that Mao did evil, evil things. If you haven't done it yet and you have the stomach for it, it is worth reading an objective biography of him. Yet, the book gives great insights to both Nixon and Kissinger.

The third book was the Balkan Wars 1912-1913 by Jacob Gould Schurman. This is an obscure period, but these two war actually set up much of the difficulty that led to the First World War. The book was not especially well written, but it was informative.

This is my schedule for the next couple of months:

02/13/10 - 02/18/10 - Holy Trinity, El Cajon, CA 92019 p.o.c. Reverend Brian Hayes/Connie (Parish Mission)

02/20/10 - 02/25/10 - St. Aloysius, Leonardtown, MD 20650 p.o.c. Fr. John T. Drakes (Parish Mission)

02/27/10 - 03/04/10 - St. Thomas More, Oceanside, CA 92056 p.o.c. Kathleen Bell (Parish Mission)

03/06/10 - 03/10/10 - Our Lady of Mercy, Harborcreek, PA 16421 p.o.c. Rev. Gerald Ritchie/Donna Clark (Parish Mission)

03/13/10 - 03/17/10 - St. Joseph, Pomfret, MD 20675 p.o.c. Fr. Mark Smith/Ron Weaver (Parish Mission)

03/19/10 - 03/25/10 - St. Lucie, Port St. Lucie, FL 34983 p.o.c. Fr. Mark Szanyi (Parish Mission)

03/29/10 - Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, D.C. p.o.c. Kathleen Noel (Talk)

03/30/10 - St. Louis Catholic Church, Clarksville, MD p.o.c. Mike Leumas (Knights of Columbus Talk)

04/01/10 - 04/04/10 - Bon Secours Retreat Center, Marriottsville, MD p.o.c. Lynn Lieberman (Triduum Retreat)

04/05/10 - 04/10/10 - Franciscan Sisters of St. Joseph, Hamburg, NY 14075 p.o.c. Sr. Joyce Kubiniec (Retreat)

04/11/10 - 04/16/10 - Hyatt Regency Hotel, Hamburg, NY (Provincial Retreat)

04/17/10 - 06/12/10 - International House of Franciscan Studies, Canterbury, England, U.K.

God bless and

fr. Jude


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