Sunday, January 29, 2012

Rome - Ellicott City

January 29, 2012

Peace and Good,

This has been a somewhat restful week. I flew to Baltimore last Sunday after the completion of our General Definitory meeting.

This past week I have been taking care of medical and dental check ups. Being on the road so much, this can be a chore. I went to the dermatologist and had my routine colonoscopy. All looks good inside and out. I went to the center for tropical diseases to update my inoculations and get a refill of anti-malarial medicine for my next trip to Africa. I also went to the dentist.

Friday I took the train up to New York for a meeting with fr. Michael Lasky, the director of the New York office of Franciscans International, the Franciscan lobbying organization at the United Nations. Since I am now on the Board of Directors, I wanted to talk with him to get a sense of what is going on.

Today I head down to Atlanta for a meeting of the provincials of the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Ireland.

I have finished some books.

A History of Russia: From Peter the Great to Gorbachev by Mark Steinberg

This is a long (36 lectures) and well written description of the history of Russia from the time of its opening to the West under Peter the Great (1672-1725) until the days of Gorbachev. Steinberg gives a number of lectures for cultural and societal background. Each of the major rulers is described. One gets a very good sense of seeing where thing were coming from and where they were headed. I found this series very informative.

The Tavernier Stones by Stephen Parrish

This is the story of a treasure hunt (with murders and thefts thrown in). The topic involves trying to find a cache of gems that were stolen during the days of King Louis XIV (the Sun King) of France and hidden somewhere in Germany. There are cartographers, cryptographers, gemologists, detectives, etc. all looking for the treasure. The hero is an Amish young man who has left his way of life to work making maps. The story turns out to be a purifying journey through the muck for him. The book is well written, although once in a while it gets a bit bogged down in trying to explain the codes found on the treasure map.

The Torment of Others by Val McDermid

This is the story of a serial killer who was institutionalized and is still in a prison hospital, and the fact that his murders has recommenced. It takes place in England, and the hero is a woman detective who heads a task group establish to study the difficult cases. A sub plot is looking for the murderer and bodies of two young boys. It is a very good who done it. The tension of the stories is palpable. Certainly, a topic like this has quite a bit of violence (especially because the serial crimes are sexual in nature). But the book is quite good.

I hope you have a good week.

fr. Jude


Post a Comment