Monday, March 1, 2010

Back to California

March 1, 2010

Peace and Good,

Well, it's back to California for the last time this season. The rest of my Spring will be on the east coast and then in England and Ghana.

I was in a parish in Southern Maryland this past week: St. Aloysius. They are celebrating their 300th anniversary as a parish. Isn't that incredible. They date back all the way back to colonial times. Many of the parishes in that part of Maryland were founded and staffed by the Jesuits for many, many years. Their work there is truly appreciated.

Southern Maryland is so different from the area around the friary in Ellicott City. There it is more northern, transplants from various eastern states who moved there for work. Southern Maryland there is more tradition, an older feel. The accent is noticeably southern.

The theme of the mission was the Eucharist as a way of looking at the 300th anniversary to celebrate the past, take stock of the present, and prepare for the future. There was a good turn out, and the weather cooperated this past week (which is good considering the winter they have been getting there this winter). I enjoyed my stay there, and the people and staff were most welcoming. The parish is in Leonardtown, and given that it is so far out of the city, there is quite a bit there to see and visit. Some great restaurants, and a great used book shop, etc.

Friday morning I was supposed to fly back to the west coast, but my flight was cancelled the night before because of an impending storm (Southwest gave be great warning so I could rebook my ticket from home and not show up at the airport and find out in the morning). I ended up taking the late afternoon flight, so I got in later on Friday and have been fighting jet lag ever since (with as much as I travel, I am still subject to terrible jet lag).

I have finished three books this week. The first was a biography of Catherine the Great of Russia by Henri Troyat. You might remember that I read a biography of Tolstoy by the same author. I very much like his style. Catherine was an interesting character. A reformer in so many ways, but also an autocrat and at times a tyrant. She wasn't even Russian, for she had married into the royal family. She was a German princess, but she worked to become truly Russian.

A second book was a biography of Pope John XXIII by Thomas Cahill, the author of How the Irish saved Civilization. I love John XXIII, but the biography was a bit painful. Cahill has such an ax to grind against the Church that he spends the first third of the book just outlining what he considers to be mostly bad popes. You want to say to him give it a break, just tell the story of this extraordinary character. What he does tell of him only make one want to know more about him.

The third book was one I read on my kindle: The Sea Wolf by Jack London. I had never read any of his works. This is a story of a dandy in San Francisco who, by accident, ends up on a ship that hunts seals. The captain is an interesting figure. In some ways, he is a great thinker, but in other ways he is a brutal animal. It asks the age old question of how one opposes bullies and evil people. There is a bit of a love story at the end, after the man finds himself and learns how to survive the ravages of nature and the danger of the captain. It was a good read.

You might have noticed that the web site has been remodeled. Congrats to Joe Hamilton, the head of our development office. He did a great job. My calendar will be on the web calendar in the future.

Here are my next sites:

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.

06/13/10 - 06/18/10 - Hyatt Regency Hotel, Hamburg, NY (Provincial Retreat)

06/19/10 - 07/01/10 - St. Victor's Major Seminary, Tamale, Ghana, West Africa p.o.c. Fr. David Azambawu(Seminarian Retreat)

God bless and

fr. Jude

1 comment:

  1. did you read Troyat book on the kindle? You can see his official site at