Sunday, July 25, 2010

A little bit of heaven: the Chautauqua Institute

July 25, 2010

Peace and Good,

Today is the 29th anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood. I am celebrating at the Chautauqua Institute where I am one of two Catholic Chaplains for the week. The Institute was founded in the 19th century as sort of a religious-cultural summer camp. It has evolved into a major nine week cultural-educational institute which several thousand people attend. They have major speakers and presentations along with many, many lectures and exhibits, operas, concerts, etc. throughout the season. As chaplain, I am asked to celebrate Mass daily and be available for confessions, etc, as well as give a lecture during the week. My theme will be on the psalms.

This past week I gave a retreat to our incoming novices (nine of them) at Carey, Ohio. They are a very good group of young men, very enthused, very sincere. I spoke of various Biblical figures and what they have to teach us about vocation. It might be a book in the making.

Carey, Ohio is a Shrine to our Lady of Consolation. I will be back there next week to preach a novena in preparation for the Feast of the Assumption. I was very impressed with the set up. It has much to offer in terms of facilities and devotion.

I have finished a couple of books. One was called the Bastard of Istanbul by Elif Shafak. This is a Turkish author, and the story is of the intersection of two largely female run families, one Turkish and the other Armenian. It has a couple of rough sections, but it is very well written and gave me tons of insight into the Turkish - Armenian situation (which is tense to say the least).

The second book was a biography about Thomas Edison by Frank Dyer and Thomas Martin. These were two colleagues of Edison, and the biography is fawning and at times overly technical. I was hoping for some insights into the person, but did not find them in this work. Yet, Edison was incredible, working on advancements in telegraph technology, on advancing the work of Bell on the telephone, the phonograph, the electric incandescent light, and the motion picture projector. Any one of those inventions would make a person famous, he did it all, in addition to working on various industrial projects (e.g. Portland Cement).

My schedule for the next weeks is:

July 24 - 31, 2010: Chautauqua Community, Chautauqua, NY - Priest in Residence

August 5 - 15, 2010: Our Lady of Consolation Shrine, Carey, OH - Parish Novena

August 16 - 20, 2010: Maronite Seminary, Washington, D.C. - Seminarian Retreat

August 21 - 27, 2010: Ocean City, MD - vacation

August 28 - September 3, 2010: St. Francis of Assisi Friary, Mishawaka, IN - Novitiate Conference

God bless and

fr. Jude


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