Monday, October 30, 2017

Rome - Ellicott City - Sante Fe - Ellicott City

October 30, 2017 Peace and Good, After the Congress on the spirituality of St. Maximilian Kolbe at our college which is called the Seraphicum at the outskirts of Rome, I flew to Baltimore for a day. This was just a break in the journey, for I and the provincial, fr. James, and the custos of Great Britain/Ireland all arrived on Saturday, and on Monday we headed off to a meeting of the provincials of the States in Sante Fe. This is the first time I was there. It has a very Franciscan history, having been founded by the Friars in 1610. The actual name of the city if the Holy Faith of St. Francis of Assisi. There are no high or ultra modern buildings in the city. Yet, it is beautiful in its own way. There are many, many shops with artwork and crafts, and many, many restaurants. The speciality is Mexican food with a southwest flavor. Yet, there are many different types of food available. In the days that we were there, we never had a bad meal. It is a very peaceful place, with so many beautiful things to see. One day, when we had finished the meetings, we took a side trip to Taos. This is a much smaller place than Sante Fe. Along the way we stopped at a couple of beautiful churches including a shrine that was very, very beautiful as well. I have to say that if anyone were to ask me to recommend Sante Fe, I would do it in an instant. On Friday we travelled back to Ellicott City. Tomorrow I participate in a definitory meeting of Our Lady of Angels Province. There are a couple of things that must be decided, and I have been asked to share the viewpoint of the Minister General on them. Then on the 1st I head out to Chicago for about 10 days. I will be giving a talk at a workshop to about 100 friars, and then I will spend a week with the postulants presenting another workshop to them. (Postulancy is the first year that candidates spend with us as they discern their vocation.) I finished some reading: Rose George A Very Naughty Little Girl This is the story of Janet Vaughan who was responsible for many of the techniques used in storing the blood supply for those who would need transfusions. Before the outbreak of World War II, blood was generally donated from another person who was present. With the outbreak of the war, this would no longer be possible, especially given the many casualties resulting from the Nazi bombing of England. She and her colleagues developed the bottles to use, the tubing, the right mix of chemicals, etc. that have since become standard fare. The title of this essay is that she was not afraid to challenge the powers that be, something that offended the titled class in Great Britain. The Terracotta Army: the History of Ancient China and Famous Terracotta Warriors and Horses by Charles River Editors This is an account of the first emperor of a unified China who ordered that a massive army be built and buried with him to accompany him to the afterlife. The author explains how this was a great advance in culture for previously the king’s courts would accompany him in death by being killed and buried with him. This emperor had thousands of soldiers and horses built from clay and painted and arranged in order in his burial plot. This ceramic army was only discovered late in the 20th century by a family that was digging a well during a drought. The Mariana and Palau Islands Campaign by Charles River Editors This is a Charles River overview of the invasion of Saipan, Tinian, Guam and Palau, all islands that the allies conquered late in the Second World War. These islands served as centers for the air fleets that then attacked Japan and destroyed most of their major cities. Tinian, in fact, was the island from which the airplanes that had the atomic bombs flew. The Battle of Antietam by Hourly History Limited This is a short outline of the bloodiest battle to be fought on American soil in history. In one day over 20,000 men were killed (with many more dying in the following months due to the poor medical treatment available at the time. This is the first battle in which photos were taken after to show people the horror of war. The book is the shortest of outlines and does not give a lot of background information, but it is enough, especially if one intends to visit the site sometime in the future. Bunker Hill by Thomas Fleming This is a masterful account of the battle of Bunker Hill (which actually occurred on Breeds Hill nearby). It gives insight into the characters involved, into the strategy of both sides, and into the consequences of the British victory which proved to be quite pyrric (for they lost so many of their good troops that General Howe, their commander, was very hisitant to attack American troops headon in the future, leading to some miraculous escapes of the American forces when they found themselves in untenable situations. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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