Saturday, September 11, 2010

In the Heart of Iowa

September 11, 2010

We pray today for those who died in 9/11, for their families and friends, and for those who caused those terrible events.

Peace and Good,

I spent the past week at home in Ellicott City catching up on a few things. I am home so rarely that my few days home are filled with doctor's and dentist appointments as well as meetings with either people for whom I am a spiritual director (which I love doing) or with others. I had to run up to Totowa, NJ, to pick up the freshly printed Lectors' Workbooks that I put together for this coming liturgical year. This week also included a meeting with my new provincial, Fr. James. The provincial is the boss for a group of friars in a geographic area (in our case Buffalo, Boston and Baltimore with friaries in the southeast). We both travel so much that this meeting had to be arranged a couple of months ago. Fr. James and I have lived together, so it is easy to discuss matters on many different levels.

Yesterday I flew out to a parish cluster in northern Iowa. This is a grouping of five different sites, each of which has a church. There is one priest who handles this arrangement very well. I heard yesterday that the average Sunday attendance at Mass is over 80% which is astounding. I will preach one night in each of the sites as well as having a morning session in four of them.

I finished a few works this week. One was Sunday's at Tiffaany by James Patterson. This books can best be described as cute. It is definitely a feel good book and it is quite funny. It was a nice book to relax.

A second book was Defenders of the Faith: Charles V, Suleyman the Magnificent, and the Battle for Europe: 1520-1536 by James Reston, Jr. This is a great history book about an incredibly traumatic period in European history. It concerns the moral decline in the papacy, the reformation of Martin Luther, the break of Henry VIII, the invasion of Europe by the Muslims, etc. If you like history, this is a great book. Not relaxing, but informative.

The third work was a rendition of the Jumping Frog of Calaveras County by Mark Twain. I obtained this from They have taped books which can be downloaded for free. This is a typical Twain story. It is told in four parts (almost like four movements of a symphony). He tells the story of how a perpetual gambler is cheated, then he gives the story in French, then he gives the English translation of the French translation (which is very funny), and finally he speaks of how he was told that the story was actually an ancient Greek story (which it turns out not to have been).

My coming schedule is:

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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