Sunday, May 27, 2012


May 27, 2012 The Solemnity of the Pentecost Peace and Good, I was at home in Rome all of this week. On Sunday, my sister-in-law Mary Jane arrived with three of her friends. They are driving around Italy, and they spent three days here in Rome seeing the sights. This really is the only chance that I have to see the city because otherwise I am on the road or writing reports. I showed them around and we had a great time in spite of the weather. Monday we saw the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Stairs, the shopping district nearby, Santi Apostoli, the Roman Forum, the Coliseum, the Church of San Clemente, Largo Argentina (where Julius Caesar was killed),the Pantheon and Piazza Navona. That was pretty much all on foot. Tuesday, the weather turned ugly with period of heavy rain followed by sun, changing pretty much every half hour. We saw the Church of St. Bartholomew where there is a memorial to the modern martyrs of communism, the Nazis, religious persecution, economic persecution. It is important to remember that people are still suffering for the faith. We then went to St. Peter’s Basilica and then the Vatican Museum. Wednesday was dedicated to the Papal audience. As usual, fr. Peter Damian, my guardian, was able to get great tickets. We were on the same platform as the Holy Father. He looked healthy, with a good strong voice. Since then, I have been taking care of a few projects at home, things that often get put off when I am travelling. I am going to be home for another two weeks, most of which time will be spent in meetings. These are some of the books I have completed: Rubicon by Steven Saylor This is a story set in ancient Rome, occurring as the city is cast into chaos with the arrival of Julius Caesar after he crossed the Rubicon and thus declared war on Pompey the Great and his followers. There is a murder of one of Pompey’s relatives in the house of a certain Gordianus who is a type of ancient crime investigator, and Pompey demands that Gordianus investigate the murder. The story continues as Gordianus seeks to effect the return of his son-in-law who had been forced into Pompey’s forces when they fled from Rome. There is a very surprising ending. It is a really good book, especially for those who are interested in ancient history. The Prometheus Project: Captured by Douglas Richards This is the second volume of a three volume series. These are short books intended for a younger audience that deal with a great scientific discovery. An alien civilization has built a modernistic city under the ground in Pennsylvania which is discovered by accident. A brilliant physicist discovers how to enter the city, and he moves to that site with his family (his wife is a brilliant biologist). Their two children sneak through a tight security and become part of the discovery team. This second volume tells what happens when another alien who happens to be a criminal escapes his imprisonment and takes over the futuristic city with the goal of taking over the world. The two young discoverers, thinking outside of the box, are able to thwart his plans and save the world. This is an easy, enjoyable read. Young people would certainly enjoy it, although by the end this volume starts to get a bit sappy. Devil Bones by Kathy Reichs This is a detective novel that sounds remarkably similar to the Kay Scarpetta series by Patricia Cornwell. It is about a series of crimes that are investigated by a forensic anthropologist in North Carolina who works with a male detective (as opposed to the chief medical investigator in Virginia who works with a male detective). The story is complicated by the presence of a politician who is using the crimes to work up the crowd in order to win a new position. All mixed up with this are questions of Wicca, Devil Worship, Santeria, etc. I actually like this character more than Kay Scarpetta. It was a good read. I hope you have a good week. Shalom Fr. Jude


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