Saturday, May 10, 2014

Chicago - Buffalo

May 10, 2014 Peace and Good, Sorry that there has been no posting up to Saturday of this week, but these past two weeks have been a whirlwind. I have been leading two of the provincial chapters, the first in Chicago and the second in Buffalo. A provincial chapter takes place every four years, and it is a gathering of the friars to review the past four years and to make plans for the next four years. The provincial, the head of the province, is elected either at the chapter or just before it. The chapter in Buffalo was a bit unusual because two of the Eastern Provinces, Immaculate Conception Province and St. Anthony Province, joined together to form a new province, the Province of Our Lady of the Angels. There are just under 200 friars in this new province. 171 of them were present for the meeting this week in Buffalo. It was a good gathering, filled with joy and fraternity. This morning I head out to the next chapter, this one held just outside of Louisville. This one will have delegates so that means that the group gathering will be smaller than the groups gathering these past two weeks. I finished a few books in the weeks before the chapters: Kingdom of Shadows by Alan Furst This must be the fifth or sixth book by Alan Furst that I have read or listened to, and I have never been disappointed. He writes about the period just before the beginning of World War II or at the very beginning. This book is about a Hungarian who is working in Paris who does favors for a number of people who are caught up in difficulties in Eastern Europe. Hitler has just taken over Austria, and is getting ready to take over Czechoslovakia and Poland. You can never quite tell who is spying for whom (hence the name of the book, for everyone is working in the shadows). Furst has a way of evoking the spirit of the times and developing the personalities of his characters. It is a good, good book. 1,000 Years of Annoying the French by Stephen Clarke This is a comical treatment of the relationship between Great Britain and France from the time of William the Conquerer (who was not French but rather Norman, a type of Viking) to the present (when the Eurostar which passes through the Chunnel, the tunnel under the English Channel, use to end up at Waterloo Station, a train station named after a great French defeat. Clarke shows how many of the things in which the French most pride themselves actually come from other countries, often England (even the famous guillotine). I enjoyed this book because of the British sense of humor which flows through every fact and detail. Guns: Book One in the John Hardin Series by Phil Bowie This is a novel of a man who is witness protection and whose cover is blown when his face appears in the local newspaper because of a rescue that he has performed. Killers come to take their revenge, and they accidentally kill the man’s girlfriend. The rest of the book is how he takes his own revenge upon the killers and those who hired them. The book is not all that bad, but not all that deep either. Lumen Fidei: The Light of Faith by Pope Francis This is the encyclical that was begun by Pope Benedict and finished by Pope Francis. It is clearly the work of Pope Benedict. It is scholarly, well documented both with religious citations and citations from larger literary circles. It speaks of different dimension of faith and how they are important to our lives today. I have heard people say that they could distinguish retouchings made by Pope Francis, but I could not find those myself. It is a solid presentation, but I am looking forward to Pope Francis’ further writings to see his own style in action. I hope you have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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