Monday, May 19, 2014

Louisville - Los Angeles

May 19, 2014 Peace and Good, I am in Los Angeles now. I am travelling with fr. Jerzy, the Vicar General. He is officially in charge of the meetings we are attending, but I am the one who actually runs it. (His English is good for understanding what is said, but not for speaking spontaneously.). Our last provincial chapter begins this evening. It will run until Friday, but Friday morning I have to scoot out to New York for another meeting which begins on Saturday morning. The meetings have gone very well. There will be a second part to each of these meetings in July and August. Four meetings in a row has been quite a bit. I can't wait until I get back home to Rome where I will have a few days to decompress before the next series of meetings begins. I celebrated Mass out here at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish. I always enjoy visiting this parish. They have an incredible contemporary music program to enliven the Masses. The weather has cooled off a bit. They say that last week it was very, very hot (which didn't help the fires to the south of here in San Diego County). I have finished some books: The Tent by Kealan Patrick Burke This is a short novel or a long story about people who are lost in the woods where an alien creature is able to mimic items with which they are familiar, such as tents or back packs. The alien intends to travel from its hiding place deep within a mountain to the city where it might reproduce and prey upon a whole new host environment. The story is well written. Although it is not overly frightening, it does provide a scary scenario. The Strange Case of the Mad Professor: A True Tale of Endangered Specied, Illegal Drugs and Attempted murder by Peter Kobel This is indeed a strange story about a professor of Anthropology who was a difficult sort of a person. Brilliant, he was nevertheless autocratic and a bit of a bully when he became the head of the department at the University where he taught. He was probably the number one expert in Lemur’s (a primate from Madagascar) in the world. When his wife died, his life took a tumble as he arranged with his lab students to manufacture LSD and other drugs. Arrested and sent to jail, he eventually was set free when he sent poisoned candies to a number of people. He died in prison from AIDS. The Shining by Stephen King Some 20 years ago, Stephen King wrote this book about a father, mother and son who reside in a large resort hotel during the winter as care takers and who are attacked by the murderous forces within the spirit of the hotel. The term “shining” refers to the ability of the boy Danny to read people’s minds and to see some things in the future. King has now written a sequel to the book. I had seen two films on the original book, but I had never read it. Lately, Kindle had both the original and its sequel on sale, so I thought it would be a good time to buy and read both. Usually I read a few pages for a large number of books each day, but I absolutely devoured this one. King has a great writing style and way of description that draws in the reader. I can’t wait to read the sequel now. To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion: 1914-1918 by Adam Hochschild This is an account of World War I, but from a very different point of view. It investigates the instances of opposition to the war, especially within Great Britain. This was often the case of socialists who saw the war as a plot to make themselves richer. They could not understand why socialists of every country did not just lay down their arms and refuse to kill their fellow workers. There were others who opposed the war or who refused to fight at conscientious objectors for religious or philosophical reasons. The book also gives an account of the horrible, horrible slaughter during the battles of the war, and the uncaring indifference of Generals French and Haight who commanded the British forces. It is well worth reading. I hope you have a good week, especially the holiday weekend. Shalom fr. Jude


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