Monday, April 7, 2014

Chicago - London - Wales - London - Rome

April 7, 2014 Peace and Good, I am back in Rome again for one of our definitorial meetings. We began this morning and we will go through til noon on Saturday. Then, next week, I will be free for Holy Week. What a joy! I am sure a number of small things will come up, but it will also give me a chance to write some articles before I fall too far behind in that camp. Last week I was in Wales for the first time. I gave a retreat to a group of Poor Clare sisters. It is almost different when one gives talks to the Poor Clares. They spend so much of their time in prayer and contemplation that one feels inadequate, but they are so grateful for whatever one can offer. There are 13 sisters in their community and one of their apostolates is to pray for prayer requests that they receive from all over the world. (In case you are interested, their site is at They are quite an international group. Rome is getting ready for the canonization of the two Popes: John XXIII and John Paul II. Unfortunately, I will be out of town that weekend because I have to be in Chicago for the beginning of the first of the chapters for the US provinces. They will be four weeks in a row, one after the other. So the game plan is Chicago, Buffalo, Louisville and Los Angeles. I suspect that Rome will be packed to the gills with pilgrims. I finished some books: Dead Sea Scrolls by Gary Rendsburg This is a 24 lecture presentation on the Dead Sea Scrolls. These documents were found by accident in 1948 by a Bedouin shepherd boy looking for a lost goat. He threw a rock into a cave and heard the sound of pottery. Going up into the cave, he found a hoard of ancient documents. When the archeologists heard of the discovery, they went down to the Dead Sea and found over 900 documents which dated from the second century BC to the first century AD. These documents were invaluable for studying the transmission of the Hebrew text of the Old Testament and also for studying the evolution of Jewish customs. The lectures are well done and present the majority opinion as well as other theories that, while unlikely, need to be heard. JFK’s Final Hours in Texas by Julian Read With the 50th anniversary of the death of President Kennedy, there have been a host of books about the assassination. This is one of them. It is written from the memories of one of Governor Connely’s aids. The book is good for some of the details that it gives, although it works very hard to reach book length by packing the story with the account of how the 6th floor of the Book Depository Building was made into a Museum to commemorate the event. 4:50 from Paddington by Agatha Christie This is only the third book that I have read by Agatha Christie, and each one is a delight. This one is a Miss Marple novel, written when she is so old that she must seek the help of another to complete her investigation. She manages to put together a set of quite eccentric yet quite believable characters. They investigate the murder of a woman on a train, a crime that was overseen by one of Miss Marple’s friends who was on her way to visit Miss Marple. I had always heard about Agatha Christie and am cautious when I have heard so much build up about someone, but whatever I heard does not begin to say how good she is as an author. The 9th Judgment by James Patterson This is a detective novel based on the careers of four women friends (a prosecuting attorney, a journalist, a medical examiner and a detective. This book deals with two criminals whose careers intersect: a mass murderer who kills women and their small children and a jewel thief. The book is well done and keeps your interest even when you know who is at fault. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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