Friday, September 23, 2011

Castro Valley - Ellicott City - Brooklyn - Clifton, NJ - Vienna

September 24, 2011

Peace and Good,

Our semi-annual meeting of the provincials of the North American, British and Irish Conference went quite well. We discussed a number of topics that deal with the life of the order (e.g. what we did in Kenya at the Congress of Nairobi talking about solidarity of resources in the order and our multiculturality), the future (the coming General Chapter in 2013), and our own projects (e.g. how we can encourage the friars to continue in their scholarship.

Saturday we celebrated the solemn profession of two of our friars in Baltimore. fr. Nader is studying for the priesthood in San Antonio and fr. Nick is teaching at our high school in Athol Springs, NY.

Sunday, I was in Brooklyn for a commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the martyrdom of two of our friars in Peru. They were from Poland, and their "crime" was that they were feeding the poor. The communist rebels of the time, the Sendero Luminoso, killed them and another diocescan priest from the States. They are all up for beatification.

On Monday, I visited my publisher, Catholic Book. With my travel schedule, it is tough to keep up with my daily reflections and other projects, but I hope to be able to do some smaller projects for them over the next couple of months.

Tuesday evening I flew out to Vienna, Austria. We have a meeting here today with the General Delegates of Austria, Switzerland and Belgium. It is a beautiful city. It reminds me of a city that was built as a capitol of an empire (the Austro-Hungarian Empire), but which has lost its empire. Austria is a country of only about 7 million people, and the capitol of Vienna is almost too grandiose for such a small country.

I finished a few books. One was Retribution by Max Hastings. It was a book on the Pacific war during the Second World War. Hastings is a good writer, and the book offered great insights into what actually happened, especially the tension among the US military leaders (the army vs. the navy).

A second book was Botchan by Soseke Natsume. It is the story of a school teacher in a small Japanese village and the pety politics among the faculty of the school. There are no real heroes in the story, and the style is very different from many of the short stories written by Japanese authors of the era.

The third book was Vendetta by Honore de Balzac. It is a Romeo and Juliet story set in the period right after the fall of Napoleon in France. A Corsican family who made out well during the reign of Napoleon is torn apart when the daughter falls in love with the son of their sworn enemy.

Hope you have a good week.
fr. Jude


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