Monday, March 14, 2011

Rome - Ellicott City - Louisville

March 14, 2011

Peace and Good,

I have travelled to Louisville (actually right across the river to a town called Mount St. Francis) to begin my visitation of Our Lady of Consolation Province. OLC province extends from Ohio to Minnesota and then friaries in Texas and New Mexico. There are around 110 friars in it.

we have a visitation in a province every six years or so. The idea is just to take stock of how the friars are doing individually and as a group. I am not really looking for problems, but more letting the friars tell their story and to encourage them to do what they are doing, but maybe with more enthusiasm. The Minister General speaks of how we were so enthused when we first entered the friars, but how over the years we might have grown a little complacent. Hopefully, this visitation will get a couple of the friars to ask the important questions of themselves again.

I have started out in the friars in southern Indiana and northern Kentucky, an area that they call Kentuckiana. There are probably 25 friars right in this region. There is the retreat house where I am staying, and three other major friaries within a 25 minute drive of here.

It is great to hear the friars' stories. Often, as friars, we get so busy with what we are doing (which is all good) that we forget to slow down and simply let the other friars tell us what is going on in their lives.

I have finished a couple of works. The first was a series of lectures on Ancient Greek History by Donald Kagan. I believe that he lectures at Yale, and he wrote a very successful book on the Peloponesian War between Athens and Sparta. He is good as a lecturer, although sometimes he pushes his own theories a bit much.

The second was the Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyesvski. This is one of those long, long Russian novels. I think I enjoyed Anna Kerenina by Tolstoy more than this book. There are some very unlikely jumps in the action. The most famous section is called the Grand Inquisitor. It presents Jesus coming back to earth and the Grand Inquisitor putting him to death again because his presence would prove to be disruptive. The last thing that the institution wanted was for people to be truly free.

Take care and have a good, safe St. Patrick's Day.
fr. Jude


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