Sunday, November 28, 2010

Chicago - Carey, Ohio - Buffalo

November 28, 2010

Peace and Good,

This past Sunday began with liturgy at our friary at Marytown in Chicago. We had solemn morning prayer followed by a beautiful Mass. It was an appropriate way to celebrate the feast of Christ the King.

That afternoon, I travelled to the Shrine of Our Lady of Consolation in Carey, Ohio. You might remember that I was there a couple of times this past summer, preaching a retreat to our new novices and then preaching a novena for the Feast of the Assumption. I spent Monday doing some homework. Every year the Minister General sends a letter to the friars of the order throughout the world, and I was asked to translate it from Italian into English. It was a little difficult, because even though my Italian is not bad, I am not yet used to thinking in Italian (and Italians have a different way of expressing ideas, e.g. never say in ten words what can be said in twenty).

Tuesday I headed out to Buffalo where I spent the Thanksgiving holiday. Wednesday I was the celebrant at the funeral of my Godfather. He passed away Saturday morning. This was a real miracle, because I am on the road so often. What were the chances that this would coincide with one of my few visits to Buffalo. At the wake, I noticed that there was a display of his military medals, which included the silver star. Like many of his generation, Steve rarely spoke of his experience of war. One of the things that most impressed me about him was that when his wife, Eleanor, came down with Alzheimer's, he had her taken care of at home. He couldn't think of institutionalizing her. What an example! Please keep him, Steve Mayer, and his family in your prayers.

Thanksgiving was a great time to visit family here in Buffalo and then yesterday in Pittsburgh. My family is so supportive of me in so many ways.

I finished a few books this week. The first was A Passage to India by E.M. Foster. I had seen the movie made from this book years ago (it was a Merchant Ivory production). It was great, but the book was even better. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. It dealt with the theme of two cultures meeting and how difficult it can be for one to understand the other. Actually, for India, it was more than two cultures (the British, the Hindus, the Muslims, etc.).

The second book was the Gracchi, Marius and Sulla by A.H. Beesley. It deals with the period just before the rise of Julius Caesar. One can understand what happened to Caesar when one understands the social turmoil that was going on in Rome at that time.

The third book was a set of CD's called the Shape Shifter by Tony Hillerman. The story revolves around a Navaho retired detective who tries to solve a strange set of crimes. There are a number of insights into Native American culture. For example, ambition is not seen as a virtue among the Navaho's. One is supposed to fit in and help the tribe and family, not to stand out. This is well worth reading or listening to.

Today I head out to Albany to visit another provincial.

God bless and
fr. Jude


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