Saturday, September 25, 2010

A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum

September 25, 2010

Peace and Good,

My title signals something unusual that happened to me this week. I was preaching a mission at Sacred Heart Parish in Newburgh, NY (an Italian parish with about 2,000 families). On Tuesday I received a phone call from my Minister General (the big boss). He and the general counsel were meeting in Poland, and they had approved the suggestion of the English speaking provincials that I should be made an Assistant General of the order.

This had all started on September 1st when I received a call from my provincial, Fr. James. He was meeting with the other English speaking provincials in Montreal, and they had discussed the various candidates for this position. It was to fill out the six year term of Br. John Joseph Dolan, a very good and holy friar, who had passed away earlier this summer. There are another three years until the next general chapter. Fr. James asked me whether they might submit my name for this responsibility. I was all but speechless. I didn't expect it, I never even wanted it. I loved what I was doing, the preaching apostolate. But Fr. James said that he and the other provincials felt it was the call of the Holy Spirit. That was all I needed to hear. I had to say yes.

Right now I am preaching my last parish mission at St. John's parish in Kingston, Ontario. All the other missions on my schedule must now be cancelled. I feel bad about this, but when you're summoned to Rome, you don't say no.

My new responsibilities will be to participate in the general counsel, to be a liaison with the general government of the order for the English speaking jurisdictions, and whatever else the general assigns me. I will probably be travelling a little less, but the travel with be farther ranging.

For now, I will be keeping up this blog. We will see if that is possible in the future. I also intend to keep up the daily reflections, God willing.

I have finished a few works this week. One of them was an abridged book on tape called McNally's Dilemma by Lawrence Sanders. It takes place in Palm Beach, Florida, among the rich crowd that lives there. McNally is a type of detective who lived a devil make care life. It is just a loose, not too serious work.

A second work was Dracula by Bram Stoker. I have seen a million films about vampires. This is more or less the origin of all of them. It is really a masterpiece of Victorian horror. The book is so much better than any film I have ever seen. Much of the action is described in terms of diary entries of the main characters. If you have never read it, it is well worth reading.

The third book is Black Notice by Patricia Cornwall. I usually like her books about Kay Scarpetta, the medical examiner for the State of Virginia. This was not her best book. It is a little far fetched in spots, and it is a bit vindictive at times. She seems to like to portray women as scheming and jealous.

I won't give you my future calendar because, with my new assignment, that is changing by the day. I will be going over to Rome from October 26th to November 8th to begin to move in and for our first counsel meeting. Then I will come back to the States to finish off the arrangements. In early December, I will head over there for the next three years.

Please keep me in your prayers.


fr. Jude


  1. I cry, the kind of crying I do at funerals. I am crying so as I write this.

    I cry partly for joy, that a friend or loved one has moved on to "a better place," a holier place maybe? Despite "my" loss of such a friend, I know somehow they are closer to God.

    I also cry for losing a loved one, on this temporary journey that sometimes seems so scary. A friend that, with a hug or a joke, helps me remember why we're here. Someone that often helps make the mysteries of life a little more understandable, or at least not as frightening. A loved one who has shared with me some of his dreams, giving me hope to achieve my own; and shared some of his own problems, giving me strength to get past my own.

    There is nothing surprising about this appointment: To me, it was as apparent that this assignment would come to Fr Jude as the reality that we all will die someday - but if I am faithful, then I must accept this as God's Will.

    God has truly blessed us with Father Jude, and I know many of us will pray that he continues to reach people all over the world with the Word of God, through his words, his teachings, and this blog. It just won't be here in Maryland any longer.

    May the blessing of God be upon you; the blessing of the Father and the Son; and may the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Love, be with you for all your days.

  2. Father Jude- we are happy for you as your wonderful God given gifts will be felt on such a wide scope but you will be sorely missed. God bless and keep you

  3. Father, have a safe trip, and I will remember you in my prayers as you make the transition to your new job.