Monday, May 16, 2011

Gozo - Quara - Birkikara - Valetta - Rome

Peace and Good,
When I last wrote the blog, I was on the island of Gozo, which is a smaller island near the island of Malta. The population is only about 40,000 on the entire island, and they are very religious. The churches are always packed.

I took the ferry back to the mainland and visited the parish at Quara. This is not that far from St. Paul's Bay, but it has a very different population. There are many immigrants, troubled families, etc. in the parish. The pastor and the friars there are trying to reach out to a population which is not all that church going (which is most unusual in Malta). One of the friars is a former DJ and he is working with a team to produce a song to present to the Holy Father for World Youth Day in Madrid this summer.

The next stop was Birkikara. There is a friary church there (which is not an official parish). There is also an apostolate for printing religious materials in Maltese called CAK (pronounced Chuck). It is a relatively new apostolate, and is doing wonderful work.

Finally, back to Valetta to meet the provincial and his definitory for a preliminary after visitation report. That went very well. They were very receptive to my observations, and responded that many of the things I noticed have been themes which they have been addressing over the years.

Saturday evening I was to fly back to Rome, but when I got to the airport, I had a sinking feeling when I looked at the flight board. There was no flight to Rome. They had changed the flight from the evening to the morning, and I had never received a notice. Fortunately, it was relativly easy to rebook the next day.

I am back in Rome for the week for a series of meetings. Then, on Sunday, back to the States, and on Monday off to Texas.

One of the things that I noted in Malta is that on May 28th, there is a referundum on divorce. They do not have it. Coming from the States, that is such a foreign concept. The whole question being asked is whether allowing it will weaken the fabric of society and the family. It is a very, very Catholic country.

I finished a few books. The first was an abridged version of the Front by Patricia Cornwell. Usually, abridged books handle the story rather well, but this particular version seemed jumpy. The story itself was OK, but I have noticed in Cornwell's books a tendency to make a manipulative woman the villian of the story.

A second work was a continuation of Suetonius' biographies of the emperors of Rome: Nero, Galba, Otho and Vitellius. Nero is portrayed as a monster, which is the accepted version of the story. The only difficulty is that Suetonius is writing after the event in the company of those who opposed the Caesars, so is this a true version of the political spin put out by the opposing faction? The other three were three generals who tried to take the throne over a period of eighteen months of civil war. None of them come across as that praiseworthy.

The third work was a biography of Daniel Boone by John SC Abbott. This was a librivox version (a free download from the internet done by volunteers). Both the content of the book (which was racist against native Americans to say the least) and the reading (which was done by one narrator) were poor. What was good was to get a picture of how much Boone did for his people, and how little he was compensated for his efforts.

Have a good week.

fr. Jude


Post a Comment