Thursday, November 27, 2014

Bridgeport - Boston - Montreal - Chicopee - Montreal

November 27, 2014 Peace and Good, I am continuing my visitation of the Canadian custody and bringing it to an end. I visited Boston both to visit the friars in the parish there and to get together with one of our friars from Rome who is on Sabbatical there. Both were enjoyable. Boston is a great little city. I then flew to Montreal. Our friars have a number of presences here, and I have been visiting them one by one. They mostly work with the Polish immigrants. The only problem is that now that Poland is part of the European community, young Polish people who want to make a living no longer travel to the US or Canada. They go to Germany or Great Britain where it is much easier for them to travel back home every once in a while. This means that these communities in Canada are growing older and will eventually disappear as they meld into the larger Canadian community. I spoke with the friars about this and we started planning for the eventual future for these sites. I flew down to Chicopee, Massachusetts for the funeral of one of the brothers of one of our friars in Rome, fr. Donald Kos. Donald is 77 years old, and travel is getting more difficult, so he was not able to make the funeral, which made it all the more important that I would be there. I fly back to Rome tomorrow for a couple of weeks of meetings this coming week. I finished some books: The Greatest Battles in History: the Battle of the Bulge by Charles River Editors This is one of those short but thorough studies put together by the Charles River Editors concerning various topics. This one covers the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. The studies are well done but limited in scope. Because of their length, they cannot go into depth on any topic, but what they treat they deal with well. Pavlov’s House by Russell Burgess This is the story of the defense of Stalingrad during World War II told from the aspect of the defense of one particular apartment block which would block the advance of the Nazi’s. I think that this might be a true story, which makes it all the more remarkable. After reading a lot about Stalin, he is not one of my favorite people. He killed as many if not more people than Hitler. Yet, there were heroes in the defense of the Soviet Union against the invasion of the Nazi’s during the World War. This book deals with the great generals who guided the battle, but even more with the simple people who fought it to the death. Kim by Rudyard Kipling I had never read anything by Rudyard Kipling, so I was pleased that the collection that I was reading, one on spies, contained a story called Kim. He is an English boy in India whose parents have died and who is raised by Indians. He is clever, and is more a street child than a normal Englishman. He meets a Buddhist monk on a pilgrimage and becomes his disciple. This is probably the first story in English literature in which a Buddhist is one of the heroes of the story. He eventually becomes a spy for the British Raj in India. The story is well written, although a bit wordy at times. The Three Lame Men: The Adventures of Ellery Queen This is the usual story about how Ellery Queen solves a mystery in which one woman is found dead and her lover is missing, presumed kidnapped. He is able to deduce from three sets of foot prints of someone who is obviously limping that something is wrong in the story that he is being told. Once again, the terminology used for various people is somewhat racist (at least according to today’s standards). Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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