Monday, November 16, 2015

Nairobi - Rome

November 17, 2015 Feast of St. Elizabeth of Hungary, the Patron Saint of the Secular Franciscans Peace and Good, I completed the canonical visitation to Kenya. The friars there are doing very well. They show a spirit of enthusiasm that is encouraging. I just have to contact a number of friars now who are living outside of Kenya to finish off my report. I flew back to Rome on Friday night. I was at the airport and in flight when the terrible events at Paris unfolded. I did not know anything about it until one of the friars picked me up at the airport early Saturday morning and told me. It seemed as if security was a bit more stringent than usual, but nothing that one could really say was extraordinary. I have to admit that I have decided to be careful here in Rome and try not to go to many public events for the next couple of months. Rome is a target city, as if New York and Washington. We have so many migrants passing through that anyone could sneak in anything. I was on TV again last night. It is a regular show called "The diary of Pope Francis" on a network run by the Italian bishops. The staff is very kind, and I enjoy the experience. I have been catching up on a number of writing projects in these days. One of the friars who is the general editor of the Polish version of the Messenger of St. Anthony asked me to write a six article series for him. I have now finished five, and just one to go. I took Air Ethiopia on the way to and from Kenya. The flights were very good and the service was exemplary. The only problem is that the airport at Addis Ababa in Ethiopia is chaotic. There is very little notice for gates and boarding. The security is hit and miss. I am going to ask my travel agent never to put me through Addis Ababa again. I have finished some books: A Singular Abduction by Rodrigues Ottolengui A young girl who appears to be in a fugue state is kidnapped and the kidnapper demans a certain ransom. A detective is able to figure out how to rescue the girl and find the kidnapper, all without losing the ransom of $20,000 which her distraught father has been forced to pay. Lives of the Trees by Diana Wells This is a curious book that goes through any number of species of trees and gives an explanation of where they occur, how they grow, how they were spread by various explorers, some verses in which they appear and other interesting facts. I wouldn’t exactly call it a scientific study, but more like a folklore version of various trees and their importance to us. Sullivan’s Justice by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg It is not often that I have read a book so badly written. The characters are quite unbelievable and do things which are strange. The coincidences are just too great. The entire premise of the book is unbelievable. I don’t know if this was Rosenberg’s first or last book, but I have intention of reading anything else that she wrote. The Montezuma Emerald by Rodrigues Ottolengui A butler comes to a detective to report that his master is missing. The detective follows up the account for it seems as if a very valuable emerald has also gone missing. A dead body shows up in the morgue, but that does not guarantee that everything is as it seems, especially when the man he assumes to be the assassin is followed by someone he thought to be a beggar. This story goes into the topic of trying to trick the detective, something that seems to be very popular in mystery stories of a certain era. Clear Eyes in Calcutta by Andrew McCarthy This short account speaks of the author’s trip to Calcutta and especially to the sacrifice of a goat in a Hindu ceremony. The author seems to be fascinated with the blood and the reaction of the crowd. He also visited Mother Theresa and was left with mixed feelings, especially from what seemed to be her self-promotion, something that many viewers have questioned. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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