Monday, March 4, 2013

Ellicott City - Arroyo Grande - Ellicott City

March 4, 2013 Peace and Good, Once again I must apologize for letting time get away from me and not having written the blog last week. As soon as I got back to the States, I headed out to Arroyo Grande (near Pismo Beach, half way between Lost Angeles and San Francesco) in California to consult with fr. Chris Deitz, the provincial of the California Province. He has been ill and was not able to attend the General Chapter. I wanted to fill him in on what happened during the chapter and ask his advice on a number of questions. He is doing much better right now, but still has a way to go in his recovery. He has a strange auto-immune disease not unlike MS which attacked the myalin sheath of his nerves in his spine. At first he was paralyzed, but now he has regained most of his movement. The rest of the two weeks has been spend on a series of doctors appointments. I am not in the States all that often, and my health insurance is based here so I have to do all the doctor's visits one after another. The only real problem I am dealing with is some problems with my left shoulder. It has been bothering me since early November. I thought it was a rotator cuff problem, but it turned out to be a frozen shoulder. It limited movement of the shoulder, and caused certain movements to be very painful. I received a cortozon shot and am doing some physical therapy right now. They are teaching me some exercises I can do on my own because I am scheduled to head back to Rome on Wednesday. (I say scheduled because there might be a snow storm here that day and I don't know right now if my flgiht will get off on time.) The friars are gathering at a retreat house down the road (at a place called Mariottsville) these next couple of days, so I am going to join them as much as my schedule allows. The two eastern provinces are getting ready to join together, and there are a lot of details to take care of in the next several months. Before you ask, I don't have any inside information on who our next Holy Father will be. We hear the same rumors that everyone hears on the news. If I were to guess, I think that it might be someone from Latin America, but there is a saying in Rome: He who enters the conclave as pope exists as cardinal. In other words, there are always surprises, and the one who thinks he has the inside track on the job is often surprised. All we know for sure is that the Holy Spirit will give us the pope we need at this moment in our church history. I have finished some reading: William the Conqueror by Jacob Abbott This is another one of Abbott’s short biographies. Last year I read a story about 1066 from the point of view of the Anglo-Saxons. This book is from the point of view of William, showing how he was a hero and really deserved to win. In is an interesting contrast. There is not a lot of new information, but it is good to review the basic details every once in a while. Reversible Errors By Scott Turow This is the story of a black man of low intelligence on death row. A lawyer is assigned by the court to see whether he deserved to have an appeal of his conviction. An ambitious assistant prosecuting attorney defends the state’s case. There are the usual love interests: in the case of the lawyer, it is a judge who was removed from the court for bribery and addictions, in the case of the assistant prosecuting attorney, it is a detective who is married with whom she had an affair a number of years ago. It is difficult to figure out who is telling the truth and who is lying, and it almost seems as if everyone is doing at least a little bit of each. It is very well written, as all of Turow’s works are. (He wrote the book that was the basis for the Harrison Ford film Presumed Innocent.) Reason and Faith: Philosophy in the Middle Ages by Thomas Williams This is a series of CD’s from the teaching company about the use of philosophy from the early until the late Middle Ages. It deals with such philosophers as Augustine, Boethius, Anselm, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus and William Ockham. I had studied about all of these figures when I studied philosophy when I was preparing for the priesthood, but that was long ago. Furthermore, I was just starting to study at that level, and really did not understand as much as I would have liked to. Now, listening to these presentations is a kind of review but also the possibility to hear some of these things for the first time. These are not easy lectures for they require a lot of attention and thought, but they are well worth it. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


  1. Wishing you well and improved health.
    You have important work to do and I am sure our Lord will protect you and give you strength.
    If you had not heard from either Fr. Dan Quackenbush or Fr.Joseph Madden, I will tell you I am living with terminal cancer that has metasticized and is "everywhere". We tried 4 different chemos w/o any results so after much prayer and conversation with God, I said "no more". I was told I have"months". The nurse in me knows not to ever listen to that but the patient in me did. However, that was last September and I'm still clearing out the house so my son won't have to do it alone. I just wanted you so know so if you did hear later, you wouldn't be caught off guard.
    andrea whiting

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