Monday, September 2, 2013

Castro Valley, CA - Chicago - Mishawaka, IN

September 2, 2013 Labor Day I finished my time in California on Tuesday and flew out to Chicago. I was staying at our house on Kenmore Avenue, not all that far from Loyola University. On Thursday evening I attended a fund raiser that fr. Peter Damian Masingill arranged for our mission in India. The hosts served exquisite Indian food. The lady who catered the meal also lent her back yard for the use of this event. There were probably about 35 people there, and it was really a very nice evening. The next morning I flew out to South Bend which is just down the street from Mishawaka. This is where our novitiate is located. There are three novices from Great Britain, three from the US and one from Canada. This week I will be presenting a workshop of the Gospels and the Psalm, a workshop I have given here a number of times and also in the Philippines. I began this morning and will continue until Friday afternoon. I had a nice surprise on the way out. The agent at the airport gate announced that they were willing to offer a $400 credit for anyone who was willing to arrive a couple of hours later and would fly from Chicago to Detroit and from there to South Bend. I called the friar picking me up and he had no problem with it. Given that I bought the original ticket with frequent flyer miles, I made out like a bandit. I can use the ticket later this year from some of my trips during the visitations I have to do in November and then again in January. My Kindle died on this trip and I finally decided to buy a Kindle Fire. When they first came out, there were mixed reviews, but they have since corrected all of the original flaws. I found out that I did not lose most of the books I was reading for they were stored in the cloud (I don't understand exactly what it is), and I could receive them free of charge. I finished a few books: Thirteen Shadows: Ghost Stories by Aaron Polson This is a series of short ghost stories. They are quite readable, but never really frighten one or make one think beyond a certain level. One of the interesting ones is about a boy who works for an old man taking his dog out for a walk. He finds the man dead when he enters the house with one of his friends. The friend steals some objects from the house and they leave the man to be found by someone else. The man haunts the boy until he gets his revenge on the friend who stole the old man’s property. Then there is one in which a man’s great aunt dies and leaves him a task of opening up a jar under the nose of people who are dying. The jar contains fragrances that trigger a pleasant memory for the dying person and allows that person to leave this life in peace. Overall, not a bad read. Dillinger by Jack Higgins Jack Higgins is the name used by Harry Patterson, an author from Northern Ireland. He wrote a number of very good books on spies and plots during World War II (e.g. the Eye of the Needle). This is a fictional account of an adventure that John Dillinger is supposed to have had in Mexico shortly before his death. He went down there to escape pursuit, but is captured by a rich mine owner who forces him to work as his enforcer in the mines against the Apache whom he treats like slaves. They rebel against the mine owner, killing his wife and kidnapping his daughter. Dillinger and others, including Rose, the mine owner’s niece, find the girl and free her. As with Higgins other books, this is well written and presents Dillinger as a type of anti-hero (something that Higgins does with IRA members in his other books). The Hades Factor by Robert Ludlum This is the first of the covert first series of books by Ludlum. I have read other volumes in the series which referred to what happened in the first volume, but this is the first time I had the change to go back to the start and see how it all came together. The hero is a doctor who is also a spy and spy catcher. He is assisted by the sister of his murdered fiancĂ©e who is in the CIA. At the end of this particular episode (which involves a evil scientist/industrialist who starts a plague so that he make a fortune selling the antidote), the president invites the hero to be part of a secret team which is answerable only to him (given that the other investigative agencies failed in their investigation of the plot outlined in this work). The action is quite good. There are side characters of a computer genius who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and a British Secret Service spy. All in all, is was a good read. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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