Sunday, September 27, 2015


September 27, 2015 Peace and Good, This week I have been in Rome for the second week of our general definitory. We met from Monday to Thursday to finish up the business that we had begun this past week. As I have often said, we discuss many, many different realities during these meetings. We speak about countries as distant as Korea and the Philippines, Kazkachstan and Great Britain, Argentina and Canada. It takes a long time, but all of the definitors hear the story of these places and are thus able to help reach final decisions on many matters. This week of definitory became a bit busier because late last week I got a call from a friar who has made many appearances on the Bishops' TV network here in Italy. He asked if I could appear as a commentator during the Pope's visit to the States here in Rome. Wednesday and Thursday afternoon I participated in the commentary. What I feared would happen actually happened. Before I got off the set on Wednesday, I already three other invitations to do commentary (for that network, for the Italian state network, and for one of the big newspapers here in Rome, the Republica). These past couple of days I have had a chance to get caught up on writing and taping podcasts for the internet. I have to write an article for a book in the States in the next few weeks, so this gives me a bit of cushion for that. I finished some books: The Boy who Stole from the Dead by Orest Stelmach This is part of a series of stories about a Ukranian family which has roots to the area around Chernobyl. In this volume, a young man who was rescued from the Ukraine and brought to the US has become a star high school hockey player. He is arrested for killing another young man with a screwdriver. He refuses to tell his aunt (his guardian) what is going on. She must investigate the story both in the United States and the Ukraine to discover what is really happening, which given that this is occurring in the ex-Soviet Union, is never a simple or transparent story. A Dedicated Man, an Inspector Banks volume by Peter Robinson This is the first of the Inspector Banks novels that I have read. Banks is an inspector from the south of England who has ended up in Yorkshire in the north. Thus, he is a bit of an outsider. He is not a perfect character, yet he has powerful gifts of deduction. A man’s body is found, murdered with a blow to the back of the head. Banks finds that everybody rather liked the man. Eventually, there is another murder of a young girl who knew too much and wasn’t careful about the person to whom she revealed her knowledge. I fully intend to read other volumes of this series. This one was quite well written. Foundation: The History of England from its Earliest Beginnings to the Tudors by Peter Ackroyd This is a very long account of the history of England from its pre-historic foundation until the days of the Tudors. It is very well researched and written. It provides a number of side topics to get a sense of the times. It gives an honest and clear portrayal both of what was happening and the main characters in the drama. I would recommend this volume. Hunting Season by Nevada Barr This is the story of a national park ranger who must investigate a murder of a “good old boy” whose body has been left in very compromising circumstances. She is working with a staff of three, one of whom hates her because he feels that she got her job because she is a woman and that he really deserves his job. There is an undercurrent of racism (this takes place in the deep south). It is a good story with a number of diversions along the way. Between the Assassinations by Aravind Adiga This is a series of stories that take place in a port city in Southern India called Kittu. The author speaks of those who are rich and poor. He tells stories of Hindu, Muslim and Christian. He speaks of the misery of those who are destitute, and those who consider themselves better than others because of caste distinctions. The premise is that these stories take place in a one week period. It is a very good potpourri of life in that city with its joys and sorrows, etc. The title comes from the period of time between the assassination of Indira Ghandi and her son, Rajiv Ghandi. I hope you have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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