Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rome - Chicago

April 29, 2014 Peace and Good, The early part of last week, I was in Rome doing some writing work that had been put off for quite some time. I was able to finish seven articles for two different magazines (in Italy and in England) for which I write. Both of them involved beginning a new series, and I was pleased that they got off to such a good start. Then on Thursday I flew out to Chicago for the first of the provincial chapters in the States. Each four years, there is an Ordinary Provincial Chapter at which a new provincial and his counsel are elected. This province is St. Bonaventure Province, and their chapter began yesterday, Monday morning. So far it is going very well. I have been here in Chicago quite a bit since last October when I first visited here for their visitation, and it feels good to have all of the preparations playing themselves out in the right way. The Minister General has proposed a candidate for the Minister Provincial of this province, and tomorrow they vote upon him. I don't think there will be any difficulty, but the friars have the absolute freedom to vote for whomever they wish. The Vicar General, the number two man of the Order, is officially in charge of this meeting, but his English is a bit limited, so I am actually running the meeting. This is the first time I am doing it, so I feel like I did when I taught High School - trying to stay a few pages ahead of the students. We are having the meeting at a Shrine and Retreat House run by the province called Marytown. The chapel is incredibly beautiful, and they have 24 hour Eucharistic adoration. The friars did a wonderful job of remodeling the retreat house a few years back, and it is used quite a bit by groups in the Chicago area. I have finished some books: Two Murders Reaped: Book Four of the Thwarted Queen by Cynthia Sally Haggard This is the fourth in the series of stories upon Duchess Cecily of York. This one deals with his marriage to Elizabeth, the daughter of Lord Rivers and his wife Jaquette. I read a book on her by Philippa Gregory, and it is so interesting to see the different way of approaching the same story. Here Elizabeth is portrayed as a demonic force which all but destroys her husband and Cecily’s son King Edward. He is replaced by Richard III, who in history has been portrayed as a great villain for the murder of his two nephews (the princes in the tower). Here, the blame is put upon Cecily who sees her own grandsons as a threat to his son’s reign because they could be controlled by their mother, the daughter-in-law whom Cecily so hates. I am not sure of the truth of one theory or the other, but it is good to see both sides of the controversy. Bloody Times: the funeral of Abraham Lincoln and the Manhunt for Jefferson Davis by James L. Swanson This is a parallel to what happened to Abraham Lincoln in his last days of life and afterwards and what happened to Jefferson Davis as Richmond fell to the forces of General Grant and Davis was forced to flee, eventually being arrested as he tried to flee to Florida. The author respects both stories, although toward the end he shows more deference to the Confederate cause than I feel comfortable reading about. Terminated by Simon Wood This is the story of a boss at a pharmaceutical company who writes a bad review (deserved) on an employee who first threatens her, and then makes her life a living hell. He beats her husband into a coma, vandalizes her home, gets her fired, and threatens to kill her daughter. In the meantime, the woman has to face the reality that another man who wanted to rape her and all but killed her is about to be released from prison. The book is not bad and is interesting in parts. By the Light of the Moon by Dean Koontz Dean Koontz writes some of the goriest books around, but he also writes books that delve into the question of evil and the obligation of those who try to be good to resist evil, sometimes with force if it is necessary. This is the premise of the Odd Thomas series he has written about a man who can communicate with ghosts. This book fits into the latter category for it is about a group of innocents who are injected with a syringe of nano robots by an evil scientist. These nanobots give them extraordinary psychic and other powers which they are called upon to use to make the world a better place. One of these is a young man with autism, and the author delves into the loneliness of that condition. The book is very well written and certainly makes one think. Have a good week. Saturday I and the Vicar General are off for Buffalo. Shalom fr. Jude


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