Sunday, December 26, 2010

Boxing Day

December 26, 2010

Peace and Good,

I entitled this blog boxing day because that is what it is called in countriesk that were ruled by Great Britain. The servants of the family had to serve them Christmas Day,and they didn't get a chance to celebrate until the day after when they could finally open their Christmas boxes.

Well, I finished out series of meetings on Tuesday morning. They went for seven days, and we didn't quite finish the agenda. That is OK, though, because the important things were finished, and in Italy there is usually not the sense of urgency you can find in the States to get things done. Here, if they get done, then they get done. If they don't, then maybe they weren't supposed to get done.

The last few days I have been spending just getting caught up. There are a lot of e mails coming in to take care of, and then I am still moving in to my office (mostly going through old files and reading what is necessary and shreding a lot of out of date material.

I concelebrated noon Mass on Christmas Day in our Basilica with about 20 other friars. What was odd is that there were only about 25 people in the congregation. We live in the historic district of Rome where not a lot of people live. Inner Rome has a ton of Churches and very few people, while the suburbs have tons of people and very few Churches. (Sounds familiar, doesn't it. The only problem in Rome is that these churches can't be closed because they are historic.)

I got to visit one of the suburban churches one evening, St. Mark's Church, where I was ordained a deacon. I was supposed to be ordained a deacon in another parish with my class, but a couple of days before it my appendix ruptured and I came down with peritonitus. When I got out of the hospital (ten days later and probably 30 pounds lighter), they decided to ordain me before my parents left (for they had been visiting for the ordination). I had been working in St. Mark's, and they decided to have the ordination there. The Church was packed for a Monday evening Mass. It was great.

I have travelled to Assisi for a few days of quiet and prayer. There is something about this city for a Franciscan that makes one feel at home immediately. It is so beautiful, so peaceful.

I finished a couple of books. The first is Jerusalem 1913: The Origin of the Arab-Israeli Conflict by Amy Dockser Marcus. 1913, just before the First World War, was probably the last opportunity for the Arabs and Jews to come to some form of agreement concerning the establishment of the state of Israel. It came close, but some sad incidents and some stubborn personalities on both sides interferred and led to what seems to be the never-ending conflict that we now see.

The second book was an essay on Cardinal Newman as a Musician by Edward Bellasio. I wanted to read it because he was recently beatified. Unfortunately, the book is horrible. I would not recommend it in any way!

Hope you have a good Boxing Day. Be safe.

fr. Jude


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