Sunday, August 21, 2011

Cracow - Ostrowiec - Warsaw - Madrid

August 22, 2011

The Queenship of Mary

Peace and Good,

Hope you are all well as the summer quickly draws to an end. This has been a busy couple of weeks for me.

Last Saturday, nine days ago, I was in southern Poland for the 70th anniversary of the death of St. Maximillian Kolbe in the concentration camp in Auschwitz. We had a Mass right outside of the building where he died, giving his life for the sake of another prisoner.

The next day, one the friars drove me to see a bit of Cracow. This was my first time in Poland, and the city is famous for its beauty. We have the oldest church in the city. We walked around a bit, and then he drove me to Warsaw for the next part of our visit, via Ostrowiec. Ostrowiec is the home city of my mom´s parents. They left there for the States 97 years ago. It is not a big city, but rather a big town. Some day I will go back to visit a bit and see if here are any records in the Churches of my grandparent's baptism.

In Warsaw, we went to Niepicolanow, the community that St. Maximillian founded. There are still 150 friars there. We celebrated the Assumption in the Church there with thousands of people. The cardinal/archbishop of Warsaw was the main celebrant.

The next morning we all flew out to Madrid for World Youth Day. It is actually closer to say World Youth Week. We stayed at the high school run by our friars in Madrid. They were incredible hosts. Some of the events saw over a million young people gathered for Mass and adoration. The only problem was that it was hot, hot, hot. About 100 degrees each day.

I read a lot in the papers about the protests against the pope's visit, but I have to say I saw only two cardboard signs in windows thoughout the whole visit. This is a time of the year that there are very few tourists in town because of the heat, but the streets were packed all day long and even most of the night. (They eat supper late here, at the friary at 9 PM.)

Here at the high school we had sudents from Spain, Italy, the States, Poland, Croatia, Russia, etc.

I finished a few books this week. The first is a book called the Gospel of Matthew, part of the Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture. The book was by Curtis Mitch and Edward Sri. It was a great commentary with some insights that I had never seen before. I would recommend it and probably the other books in that series.

The second was a short story called Strong as Death. It was written by Guy de Maupassant and dealt with a man who fell in love with a married woman and then her daughter in Paris during the 19th century.

Finally, there was a free book from Kindle (my e reader) called the Potluck Club by Linda Evans Shepherd and Ev Marie Everson. It was a Christian mystery book. The Christian part is always present but really not pushy. The mystery part is good. It deals with a group of ladies from a Church who gather once a month for a pot luck supper and prayer (along with a good dose of gossip). The characters are believable and engaging. It was well worth reading.

Hope you have a good week. It's back to the States for me today.

fr. Jude


  1. And where did I ever get the misguided idea that this was going to be a less stressful, less travelling job?

    Good on ya

  2. Happy to hear you made it out before the hurricane. We continue to pray for you and the OFM conv. Pace e bene
    Sr. Teresa (Franciscans of Halifax)