Sunday, December 4, 2011

Chicago - Milwaukee - London

December 4, 2011

Peace and Good,

I was in Chicago and Milwaukee this past week doing an evaluation of the formation program of our Mid-western Chicago province. Every once in a while the administration of the provinces takes a look at what they are doing to form the young friars in our way of life. At those times, it is good to tap an outsider to help in the evaluation so that one gets an objective perspective.

During the trip, I visited out Basilica of St. Josaphat in Milwaukee. It is an incredible church, well worth a visit if you are ever in that city. They have just finished a project to change the lighting of the Basilica (energy saving lighting that is much brighter than before). The whole place sparkles and shines. When you enter, you can see why the local symphony uses the basilica for some of its presentations.

Firday evening I flew to London for the funeral of our Bishop John Jukes. I will be preaching at the Vespers (Evening Prayer) service on Monday. The funeral is Tuesday, and then I will be flying back to the States for the funeral of the father of one of our provincials. My jet lag doesn't know which way to adjust anymore. Yet, it is important to be present for these events, if only to show our support to our brother friars.

I finished some books this week. The first is the Messenger by Daniel Silva. This is the second time that I have read this particular book. It was good enough that it was worth the effort. It involves the Mossad and a plot to kill the pope. There is a good mix of fighting terrorism and infiltrating an organization that funds the terrorists. It is good suspense, and I enjoyed it.

I also finished Yiddish Tales by Helena Frank (the translator). These are a series of tales written in Yiddish in Eastern Europe and the US. I downloaded them from They have a playful spirit even while they cause one to laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time. They speak of the poverty of the Jews of Eastern Europe, of their persecution, of their struggle to be faithful to the faith in a changing world, etc.

A third book was Flutter by Amanda Hocking. She is an author who has become famous through the fact that she self-published her own e books. It is only recently that she has obtained a contract to publish printed books. This is the story of a family of vampires and their struggles, especially against a wild band of vampires from the far north of Scandanavia who have a grudge against them.

Have a good week.
fr. Jude


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