Sunday, May 6, 2012

Bacau, Romania

May 6, 2012 Peace and Good, I arrived here in Romania this past Saturday, and have spent the week preaching a retreat for a group of friars from the Romanian province (over 20 of them). I was at the retreat house where I preached the retreat to the students at the beginning of Holy Week, but the weather has transformed the place. When I was last there, it was still very cold. Now everything is in bloom. Summer arrived here in Romania very quickly. The theme of the retreat was Old Testament personalities and what they have to teach us about religious life today. The ones I covered were Abraham, Moses, Ruth, Saul and David, Hosea and Amos, Isaiah, Deutero-Isaiah and Ezekiel. I closed with the last of the Old Testament figures and the first of the New Testament figures: John the Baptist. I finished the retreat on Friday after lunch. Saturday, the provincial took me on a trip. First, we went to a Marian sanctuary in the north of the country. The area is called Bukovina, and there is a large Polish population there from the 17th century. A couple of centuries ago, someone found a copy of the icon of Our Lady of Czestochowa near a river bank, and it proved to be a miraculous icon. We take care of the shrine that houses this holy object. The provincial and I were there for a gathering of the faculties of our own theological faculty (in Roman) and of the diocesan seminary (in Iasi). This was the first gathering of its type. The bishop and his auxiliary were there, so it was important for us to be there too. The, we drove to see a couple of the painted monasteries in the area. They are like fortresses, and these two are for Orthodox sisters. They were built and painted inside and out at the end of the 15 hundreds. They are really magnificent, and they are considered to be art treasures. For all the times I have been in Romania, this was the first time I had a chance to see them. I finished some reading: The Prometheus Project: Trapped by Douglas Richards This is a short book which was really written for early high school students about two heroes whose parents are scientists and who help in the exploration of a city built by aliens. There are ample descriptions of scientific phenomena, but in a way that is very appealing. There are questions of courage and morality and faithfulness. It is really quite well written, and is part of a trilogy which I am certainly going to read. The Virgin’s Lover by Philippa Gregory The is another of Philippa Gregory’s historic novels on the Tudors. This particular one deals with the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Robert Dudley. Dudley was married to Amy, a noble wife, but he ignored her to flirt with the queen. There is a good description of the intrigues being played at the court, with spies and informants giving information to various courtiers who then played power politics, always based upon favor with the queen. There are also the intrigues involved foreign politics and the question of whom the queen would marry. Elizabeth proves to be an expert of intrigue and deception, even involving possible murder for the sake of her freedom. Aces and Knives by Alan Cook I have read another of Alan Cook’s mysteries, that one set in a home for the elderly and one of the retired teachers residing there is the master detective. This book takes place in Los Angeles and involves a father and son, the father being the director of a tech company while he believes the son is a never do well but is someone who actually turns out to be the hero of the story. The story is quite good, with a murder occurring while the prime suspect is the boyhood friend of the murdered as well as the investor who is trying to buy out the company where that man was vice-president and our hero’s father is the president. I hope you have a good week. I am here in Romania until next Saturday, preaching the second retreat for friars. Shalom fr. Jude


Post a Comment