Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Rome - Atlanta - Savannah

Peace and Good,

October 19, 2011

This past week I have been with some of my relatives who were visiting Rome. I have not had too much of an opportunity to see the city, so this week was great. I got to learn the connection between some of the streets that I had wanted to visit. One of my favorite surprises is the Church of St. Louis. It is the French national church in Rome, and it has two Caravaggio paintings in one of thee side chapels. I have always loved the art of Caravaggio. He was famous for his use of shadow and light. But for as good an artist as he was, he lived a horrible life style, including being accused of murder (which he did, in fact, commit).

There were demonstrations all week in Rome similar to the Wall Street demonstrations. Unfortunately, on Saturday, they became violent. By then, my brother and his family had moved on to Naples. In Rome, as long as you know there are difficulties, you simply remain indoors and you are safe. Yet, the whole financial thing is becoming very, very messy.

On Sunday I flew out to Atlanta to attend the episcopal ordination of one of our friars, fr. Gregory John Hartmeyer, as the new bishop of Savannah. I got stuck in London because of fog, and missed connections in Atlanta to get to Savannah. I ended up bumming a ride with some parishioners from one of our parishes in the Atlanta area. They were wonderfully hospitable, but I did feel a little as if I were in the home alone film when the mother rides home in the back of a truck with a polka band.

The ordination was incredibly beautiful. This is the first episcopal ordination I have ever attended. (Remember, there are three levels of ordination: to the diaconate, the priesthood, and the episcopacy.) The pastoral team of Savannah had planned it so well and the music was tremendously moving, including a special composition which featured the motto of the new bishop: Pax et Bonum (which means Peace and Good).

I finished a few books.

The first was Spies in the Balkans. It is about a police detective in Salonika, Greece, just before the Nazi invasion in World War II. He sets up a network of police officers throughout Eastern Europe to save threatened Jewish refugees. It is by Alan Furst. He is a very, very good author, and he sets the scene perfectly. I was very impressed by his style and will read books by him in the future.

There was a series of short stories by James Scribner such as the Broken Rule, the Pause Ghost, Under the Bed and Replaced. He, too, is very good. There are low key horror stories, but often with a twist. For example, Under the bed is about the monster under the bed who frightens a little girl. The only thing is that the monster is real, and when the father is tied up by a maniac who threatens to harm his daughter and wife, it is the monster who sets him free.

Then there was Flight Fall by Andy Straka. It is a detective story about the killing of a hunting Peregrin Falcon. It is much better than it sounds, and has a lot of twists and turns.

Hope you have a good week.
fr. Jude


Post a Comment