Monday, December 6, 2010

Buffalo - Albany - Montreal - Ellicott City

December 6, 2010

Happy St. Nicholas Day

Peace and Good,

Hope you are all well. This week I finished off my visits to the provincials of the US and Canada. On Sunday I drove from my brother's house to Rensselaer (across the river from Albany). There I met with Fr. Justin Biasi, the provincial of Immaculate Conception Province. This is the other eastern province (my own province of St. Anthony being the other one). The two eastern provinces are in the process of joining. The schedule has the approval coming in 2013 and the actual joining coming in 2014.

Immaculate Conception is also responsible for two other jurisdictions: a custody (a baby province) in Brazil and a delegation (smaller than a custody) in Costa Rica. We spoke about the province in the US and these two entities. There are about 100 friars in all. Like St. Anthony, they have parishes, shrines, and retreat house ministries as well as college campus ministers.

On Wednesday I drove up to Montreal to visit the custody there. There are 16 friars, all from Poland, serving the needs to Polish immigrants and recently French speaking Catholics there. In the past, this custody did not belong to our conference because the friars minister to and in Polish, but now they are a part of the North American and English/Irish conference.

From there back to Rensselaer for the night. I got to meet with one of our friars who is ministering in Assisi. We shared some information and a number of stories about the joys and confusion of life in Italy.

Then on to Ellicott City. Friday night there was a reception to say goodbye to me as I get ready to head off to Rome today for my permanent stay.

I finished a few books and tapes. The first was Brother Odd by Dead Koontz. This is part of the "odd" series. This is the third in the series that I have read. It was excellent. Odd (his name was supposed to be Todd but they made a mistake at the registry) can see ghosts and his mission is to help them find peace. In this book he is staying at a monastery of monks and nuns in the Cascades. The nuns care for mentally challenged children. There is a warmth and gentleness in the description that, in spite of the fact that this is a ghost book, is firmly pro-life. It was a joy to see a book that respected the defenseless so well.

A second book was the Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde. This is one of those classics I always wanted to read. It is written in a decadent late Victorian style. It has much more to do with moral degeneracy than with age.

The third was the Broken Window by Jeffrey Deaver. This is a Lincoln Rhyme book. He is a paralyzed investigator who solves cases for the police (or at times in spite of the police). This one has to do with a mass murderer who is drawing his information from an internet company that mines information and sells it to customers. It speaks of the danger of Big Brother watching our purchases, our moves, etc. I wouldn't classify it as great, but it was good.

Tonight I fly out to Rome and will be there for the vigil of the Immaculate Conception. Our Basilica of Santi Apostoli has a big celebration for the feast. People also bring bouquets of flowers to the statue of Mary in the Piazza di Spagna.

Take care and
fr. Jude


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