Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A Novena for the Feast of the Assumption

August 11, 2010

The Feast of St. Clare of Assisi

Peace and Good,

I am in day 6 of a novena to Our Lady of Consolation at the Shrine of that name in Carey, Ohio (about 60 miles south of Toledo). The shrine is run by the friars of one of the Mid Western provinces, named after Our Lady of Consolation. They have a tremendous turnout during the novena, especially from Chaldean people from the Detroit area. Chaldeans are one group of Eastern Rite Catholics from the Iraq area. I worked with many of them when I was a student in Rome. They had fled Saddam Hussein in the early 80's, and I worked with various groups to help get them resettled. It is good to see them again here.

I am working on various themes throughout these days. So far I have preached on the power of prayer, why pray for the intercession of the saints, Mary as a model of prayer, Mary as a model of service, the Immaculate Conception, and tonight I will speak about Mary as a model of faith and discernment.

The friars here have been most welcoming. It is great being a friar - I feel that I am home all throughout the world.

I have finished a few books this week. The first is actually a college course I picked up on on the Rise and Fall of the Second Reich by Margaret Andrew. This was about the rise of Bismark and the unification of the German state in the 1870's. The course was good, but I could not believe how Bismark lashed out against the Catholic Church so severely. Many sisters groups in the United States were founded in those days when he expelled them from Germany. He did say toward the end of his life that this was the greatest mistake he had every made. He wanted to unify Germany by making everyone belong to a state church (Lutheran), and he didn't like the fact that the Catholic Church answered to a power outside of Germany's borders (the pope in Rome).

A second book I finished was Queen's Consort: England's Medieval Queens by Lisa Hillen. This dealt with with queens of England from the time of William the conqueror until the days of Henry VIII. It was quite good and informative. For example, one of the queens (I can't remember which one now) inherited the toll on London Bridge but failed to improve it physically, which was why the children's song, "London Bridge is falling down" began.

A third book was a biography of John Newton by Jonathan Aitken. His name might not be familiar, but he is the author of Amazing Grace. He worked as a slave ship captain before he converted and became an Anglican minister. It is a good story of conversion and a truly holy man.

My schedule for the next weeks is as follows:

08/05/10 - 08/15/10 - Our Lady of Consolation Shrine, Kerry, OH p.o.c. Br. Jeffrey Hines (Novena)

08/28/10 - 09/03/10 - St. Francis of Assisi Friary, Mishawaka, IN 46544 p.o.c. Br. Paschal (Novitiate Talks)

09/11/10 - 09/16/10 - Holy Rosary Cluster, Elma, IA 50628 p.o.c. Fr. Ray Atwood (Parish Mission)

09/18/10 - 09/23/10 - Sacred Heart, Newburgh, NY 12550 p.o.c. Sr. Mary McCarthy/Most Reverend Dominick J. Lagonegro (Parish Mission)

09/25/10 - 09/29/10 - St. John, the Apostle, Kingston, Ontario p.o.c. Fr. David Collins (Parish Mission)

10/02/10 - 10/06/10 - St. Raphael, Burlington, Ontario p.o.c. Fr. Maurice Richard (Parish Mission)

10/08/10 - 10/10/10 - Priestfield Retreat Center, Priestfield, WV p.o.c. Carolyn Protin (SFO Retreat)

10/14/10 - Dominican Retreat Center, McLean, VA 22101 p.o.c. Sr. Agnes (Evening for Married Couples)

10/15/10 - 10/17/10 - Dominican Retreat Center, McLean, VA 22101 p.o.c. Sr. Agnes (Men's Retreat)

10/22/10 - 10/26/10 - St. Julia Church, Siler City, NC 27344 p.o.c. Reverend James Fukes (Parish Mission)

11/06/10 - 11/11/10 - Sacred Heart, La Plata, MD 20646 p.o.c. Fr. Ron Potts (Parish Mission)

11/13/10 - 11/18/10 - St. Alphonsus, Wexford, PA 15090 p.o.c. Fr. Peter P. Murphy (Parish Mission)

God bless and
fr. Jude


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