Sunday, April 29, 2012

Geneva - Rome - Bacau

April 29, 2012 Peace and Good, I hope you are all well. I have spent the last week in Rome. I flew back there last Sunday from Geneva where I had been attending a meeting of the Board of Directors of Franciscans International. This was a week to catch up with some work. I had to translate a document from Italian into English. It was about 7 pages long, so it too a full day just to do that. Then there was another day spent working on daily reflections. I have most of May done and sent in to be posted. I also attended a few meetings. On Monday, there was a reception of the executive committee of the men's and women's conference of major superiors. These are organizations that represent reliigious men and women in the United States. Then, on Tuesday, there was a reception for the leaders of religious communities in Rome and those from the States. Finally, on Friday, I had a meeting with one of the provincials of one of the United States provinces who was in Rome for some other meetings. This is the province that is preparing for an extraordinary chapter on May 15th, so we were able to take care of some preliminaries. I will be heading there when I get back from Romania. Yesterday, I flew back into Romania. I am giving another two retreats here to the friars who have finished initial formation. I will be in the same retreat house where I was at the beginning of Holy Week. Here, like Rome, spring has arrived. I should really say early summer because it is quite warm. That is fine with me, given that it was very, very cold in the retreat house last time (especially since it is in a valley). I will be here for two weeks. Here is some of my reading: Killer’s Choice by Ed McBain Ed McBain is a prolific author of a series of police stories. He is also the author of a book that was made into a film in the 50’s, Blackboard Jungle. This story involves the murder of a young woman who proves to be much more complicated than one would first suspect. It is almost as if she were living a triple and quadruple life. Some reviewers speak of this as a literary version of some of the police dramas on TV in the 70’s. It is an easy read, not all that challenging in characters or action. The Countess of Escarbagnas by Moliere This is a short play by the 17th century French author (read in English) which makes fun of a countess who at best can be called nasty and the servants and suitors whom she encounters in the provinces. It is a strange little production, intended to be a farce mocking the pretensions of the upper class in Moliere’s France. Princes of the Church by Dominic Aidan Bellenger and Stella Fletcher This is an overview of the cardinals of England over the ages, going from the earliest cardinals either residing in Rome or in England to the latest ones. It is an informative volume which gives some insight into why certain men were chosen and what they did or did not do for the church. There is no great polemic in the volume, no axes to grind. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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