Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Carey - Mt. St. Francis - Brunswick, GA - San Antonio

April 6, 2011

I hope that all is well and that your Lent is proving to be a very spiritual time. I'm still on my visitation of Our Lady of Consolation Province.

I visited Carey, Ohio. Those who have read this blog for a while remember that I preached a novena there this summer in honor of the Assumption. There are ten friars there, and they have a varied series of apostolates. There is the shrine ministry with pilgrimages of people arriving from all over the mid-west. There is the local parish. There is a retreat house, especially for teens and for self-help groups. One friar is working with the Mission Association to gather funds for the missions. One friar is in a rest home run by the sisters. Even though the friars are running in many different directions at once, they have a good sense of community and a joyful spirit that is heartening.

I drove back from there to Mount St. Francis to drop off the car that they had lent me, and then I flew to Brunswick, Georgia (actually flying in to Jacksonville and then driving north for an hour). There are six friars in the area. There is the main parish in Brunswick (with English and Spanish ministry), a chapel on Jekyl Island, a parish in Darien, GA, a federal training center for homeland security where the friars have mass, and the ships that come in from around the world upon which they occasionaly have mass. In addition to all of this, one friar is in full time prison ministry, and one works for the marriage tribunal in Atlanta. You would think I was talking about twenty friars and not just six. They do a great amount of service. They are also working at forming a closer community. I was impressed.

The city of Brunswick is beautiful, a smaller Savanah. There are the beautiful tree lined streets, hanging with Spanish Moss. There are parks all throughout the town. It is not very big, and I would worry about evacuating during a hurricane (for there are lowlands for many miles around), but it really is a nice place to visit or live. Walking down the street, no one passed me without greeting me.

I am now in San Antonio visiting our house of formation here. The students go to Oblate School of Theology down here. There are a few older friars who reside there and form a stable community, and then there is the formation community which comes and goes depending on the season.

From here I will fly back to Ellicott City and then off to Rome.

I finished a book entitled Catch a Falling Knife by Alan Cook. The "detective" is a retired university professor who lives in an elderly housing development. The story is good, and the characters are likable.

A second work was American Notes by Rudyard Kipling. This is the Kipling of India fame. This particular work is about a visit to the States. Typrical of Kipling, he is racist and demeaning, and he is particularly scathing to many of the peculiar American customs that he encounters. This book was never published in wide distribution because of fear concerning the reaction of the American reading public. Given all of that, he is still quite funny at times and the book was overall enjoyable.

Have a good week.
fr. Jude


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