Monday, February 23, 2015


February 23, 2014 Peace and Good, I hope that you are all doing well. I have been in Rome for this past week. We have finished our first week of our definitory meetings, and we have one more week. The most difficult part of the agenda is finished, but we still do have a couple of touch issues to discuss. The weather has been cool and rainy, but today it almost seems like Spring is arriving. I am finally getting over a bad cold that I caught in El Salvador. Isn't it odd that I got the cold in a place where the temperature was around 90 degrees. I guess with all the travel that I do, I am really quite fortunate that I don't get ill more often. I will be in Italy for another three weeks, and then the travelling show begins again. My first trip is easy - to Chicago for ten days to visit the friars and see how things are going now. I finished some books and stories: Babe: The Legend Comes to Life by Robert Creamer Babe Ruth has to be one of the greatest and most famous baseball players ever. Yet, in his private life, he seemed not much more than an overgrown kid. He led a strange life of carousing, but he could also be incredibly kind when asked for a favor of some sort. This book provides both an outline of his life and an overview of some of the important moments of his baseball career. I am sure that if I were more of a baseball fan, I would have enjoyed that part of the book more, but I am not really one. Nevertheless, it was a decent read. Pray for Me by Robert Moynihan This is a short biography of Pope Francis. It really is more of a recap of his first weeks as pontiff, then a very short biography, followed by a selection of his sayings. It is obvious that the author wanted to be the first out on the market, but nevertheless there are some good insights into the man. My favorite anecdote is that when he was elected as pope, he called back to Buenos Aires and cancelled his newspaper subscription and his dentist appointment. His attention to the small details and his intense respect for each individual is what most people see and admire. The Battle of Iwo Jima by Charles River Editors This is a short overview of that terrible battle which occurred in the Pacific during the last year of the war. This was an island that the air force desperately wanted for it was half way between Tokyo and Saipan, the island from which the air force raids began. They needed an emergency landing field for those bombers that were in trouble, and a place where it could station fighter plans to fly cover for the bombers. This volcanic island was packed with defences such as pill boxes, tunnels, caves in which cannons were stored and to which they could retreat after firing. This is the invasion in which the famous picture of the marines raising the flag on Mt. Surabaci was taken. It was a foreshadowing of the horrible battle that would be fought if there was an invasion of the homeland of Japan. Midnight Mass by F. Paul Wilson This is the last in a collection of horror short stories. This one is about a Jersey shore town and the vampires who have taken it over. They have desecrated the church where Fr. Joe once served. His former pastor, not a good man when he was alive, has become the head vampire. Joe and his friend, Zev, fight to retake the church from them. Joe celebrates a Mass which becomes the means by which the vampires first defeated. They are then totally defeated with a sacrifice of friendship by one of the two main characters. The Mugger by Ed McBain This is a police story which tries to give the picture from the point of view of one of the policeman involved. There are actually two crimes being investigated: a series of muggings by a man who hits women, steals their purses, and then bows and gives them his greeting, calling himself Clifford. The second is the murder of a young pregnant woman. The dialog is well written and there is plenty of action in the story. I hope you have good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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