Saturday, March 3, 2012


March 4, 2012

Peace and Good,

I have been in Rome for this week for a series of meetings. We have had our General Definitory. We talked about the situation in so many parts of the world, from Australia to Ireland, the US to Argentina, from Zambia to Italy to India. There was an incredible variety of topics.

Tomorrow I had off to Africa to do a series of retreats: two in Ghana and one in Zambia. I do not know how the internet connections will be, so I decided to do this blog just a bit early.

Early in the week, I found out that I needed a visa to get into Ghana. I had thought that one could get it at the airport. One of our brothers here, Br. Bruno, took care of the details for it for me while I was in our meetings. Bruno is incredible for his service to the community. You just have to think of what you might need, and he is already thinking of a way to arrange it.

I also was asked to represent the minister general at a meeting of major superiors of religious orders present in Canada when I get back from Africa. It is really interesting to make contacts this way with good women and men from all over the world.

I finished a few books:

The Hunters by Web Griffin

This is one of many books that Griffin has written on the defense of our country and those who work behind the scenes to do that. This one involves a secret agency that the president has set up to do what the FBI and CIA and NSA cannot do. The hero is an army officer named Castillo who gathers together a team to investigate the murder of one of our diplomats by unknown assassins. It involves corruption concerning the oil for food program that was running in Iraq before the war and the consequences of all that money that was being spread around as bribes and cheating on sales limits. Griffin explains the action and background well enough that it is easy to follow. His characters are not quite fleshed out, but there is a lot of action. All in all, not a bad read but not exactly serious literature.

Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

This is an incredible book that was, at times, painful to read. It involves a KGB agent at the end of the reign of Stalin who gets in trouble because he wants to be honest and because he loves his wife (or at least he thinks that he does). He goes through a series of humiliating and dangerous episodes along with his wife whom he eventually truly does learn to love (as she does he). If you ever wanted to know how bad things can become in a totalitarian regime, this is a book that you should read. The actual plot is the attempt to find a mass murderer of children, which in the Soviet Union was all but impossible because the official line of the government was that they did not have crimes like the decadent west. Therefore, the death of these children was never fully investigated, and the police only sought a scapegoat to blame and to cover up the investigation before it became too embarrassing. If you have the stomach for it, this is a must read.

Manituana by Wu Ming

There is a saying that history is written by the victors. This book is an exception. It tells the story of the battle of the Iroquois federation in New York State during the Revolutionary War. They fought on the side of the British, largely because they believed they had a better chance of holding on to their land given the promises the British had made to them. This book gives one an insight into native American life at the end of the 18th century.
The book was actually written by a committee. There is a group of authors living in Italy who write historical novels. You would never guess that this is more than one author. It is well written, and the translation from the original Italian is remarkable. Definitely a must read if you like historical novels.

Hope you have a good week.

fr. Jude

1 comment:

  1. I can hear Willie Nelson's song, "On The Road Again," singing in my head as I read your post. Safe travels to Africa and Canada and remember you go with our prayers.

    God Bless,

    Linda & Cliff Johnson