Monday, October 18, 2010

The Last Hurrah

October 18, 2010

The Feast of St. Luke

Peace and Good,

This past week has been a whirlwind of getting ready to head over to Rome. There were dental appointments, packing, etc. All has come off quite well.

I have not yet taken my oath of office but already I have begun to assume some of the duties. I am a liaison between the General Offices of the order and the provincials. I am not quite sure what that will mean, but at the very least I will be translating communications to and from Italian into English for each side.

This past weekend I preached my last retreat before I begin those responsibilities. I was at the Dominican Retreat House in McLean, VA for a preached men's retreat. There was a group of around 40 men. It is interesting to notice the different dynamics between men and women on these retreats. Men especially want time to sit and ask questions about the faith and life, etc. Women tend to want more quiet time and one on one discussions. The retreat house in McLean is a wonderful place, and the sisters there make it so welcoming.

Today I fly out to Louisville to meet one of the provincials. Most of the others I will meet when I return from Rome in November, but this provincial will be out of the country. This is just a fact finding trip and to get to know him a bit better and he to get to know me.

I found out that many of my theology books will end up at our house of studies in Nairobi, Kenya. I am thrilled. They will be put to good use.

I finished a number of books and tapes. The first was a book on Mary Tudor by W. Llewelyn Williams. She is commonly known as "Bloody Mary" because of the many Protestants she put to death during her reign. Williams is more balanced that many other authors I have read on the topic. Mary comes across as trapped between divergent choices that led to disastrous results, rather than being a paranoid murderer.

The second work was the Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe. I have heard about this short story forever, but I had never read it. It is a wonderfully gothic tale of tragedy and doom.

The third book was by Carmen Callil and it was called Bad Faith: A forgotten history of fame, fatherland, and Vichy France. It is the story of how an anti-Semite among the French collaborated to deport so many Jews to their deaths during World War II. The Vichy period has always fascinated me because most French like to ignore it or downplay how much they collaborated with the German occupiers. The fact is that most people just did what they had to survive, a small minority actively fought the occupation, but about the same number actively collaborated with the occupiers.

A fourth work was the Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Again, I have always seen this title, but had never read the book. It was the source for the story portrayed in Apocalypse Now. It is the story of a trader in ivory who goes mad and becomes the god for a tribe in the backwoods of Congo during the 19th century. It is well written and fascinating. It always amazes me that Conrad was such a good author even though English was not his native language for he was Polish by nationality.

God bless and

fr. Jude

1 comment:

  1. I will respectfully remind you that the writers of the Gospels were all non-native speakers. Nabokov wrote in English. Conrad was not an exception