Monday, January 22, 2018

Rome - Manila

January 23, 2018 Peace and Good, This past week I have been in Rome for the meeting of the General Definitory with the new provincials and custodes from throughout the world. There were just over twenty of them, and we like to bring them to Rome for a week to describe the parts of their job that have to do with us and the Vatican. Part of the trip was visiting the various other General Houses in Rome, which includes our international seminary (the Seraphicum), the center of our office for secretaries of various topics (Casa Kolbe), the friary where doctoral students live (La Vigna) and the friary which houses our confessors at the Vatican (the Penitenzeria). I was asked to preach at the morning Mass each day, a short homily but one that tried to bring out the spiritual dimension of the work these men are doing. On Saturday, fr. Benedict Baek, the Asian Assistant General and I traveled from Rome to the Philippines. We are here for the second part of their custodial chapter, and I preached a spritual introduction to it yesterday and in these following days I will preach at their Masses. Part of my presence is to back up fr. Benedict, and part to see what is going on to get a different perspective. The Philippines has had some difficulties in the past, but now they have a very good custos who is bring things together. I finished some reading: Dressed for Death by Donna Leon A man dressed as a woman is found outside a slaughter house in Mestre, the industrial city adjacent to Venice. Commissario Brunetti investigates the crime which is especially brutal. He finds connections to a much larger plot which involves political corruption and other illegal activities. Donna Leon, who is Spanish, has a feel for Italy, and if one has lived there, one can pick up the hidden jokes and jibes all throughout the story. She write a great book, and I intend to read as many of her books as possible. Daniel Webster: The Life and Legacy of One of America’s Most Famous Senators and Orators by Charles River Editors This is one of those extended essays on the life and activities of Daniel Webster, the famous lawyer, politician and stateman. He is known as one of the great politicians of the period before the Civil War (along with Clay and Calhoun). He fought for the preservation of the Union, and was accused of having sold his beliefs and his soul in defening attempts of the Southern States to enforces the fugitive slave laws. Poison by Ed McBain This is the story of a woman with a number of gentlemen friends who are being murdered. One of the policement investigating the crimes falls in love with her and moves in with her, complicating the investigation. These stories (which are numerous) are the pattern that was eventually used on the NYPD Blue TV program. This one is well written, clever. Dark Night by Suzanne Brockmann This is a very poorly written spy novel. It involves company called Troubleshooters Incorporated. They are mostly retired CIA agents who contract with the agency to perform various jobs which include killing enemies of the county. The author only lightly outlines what they do, and she centers on the fact that some CIA agents are trying to kill some of the members of Troubleshooters because of what they know about certain hidden activities. The author throws a lot a sex (written in an incredibly adolescent manner) and pop/new age psychology in. At least I know that I would never buy a book by this author again. What’s Left Behind by Kea Krause This is the story of a polluted lake of waste water in Butte, Montana. Butte was the site of a massive open air copper mine which was abandoned. When it was no longer mined, the company which owned it ceased pumping ground water from the region. The water reacted with some of the pyrite rock that had been left, producing a very dangerous acidic reservoir. The essay spoke of some attempts to remedy the situation, and some attempts to bring a bit of beauty and industry to the Butte area. Hope you have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


Post a Comment