Wednesday, March 7, 2018

San Diego

March 7, 2018 Peace and Good, I have been in San Diego this past ten days for a parish mission in Sacred Heart Parish in Coronado. The topic of the mission was a preparation for the events and spirituality of Holy Week. We had a great turnout, and many, many confessions. I was very pleased with how it went. It is a very active parish. I intend to write an article for the Messenger magazine in Padua on their outreach to married couples and families, to the divorced, to the hispanics, etc. They are taking very seriously the Pope's call to be a sign of mercy and welcome. On Friday I gave a workshop on the Passion Narratives at the Pastoral Center to priests and deacons. We had about 30 show up. That, too, went very well. These past few days I have tried to slow down a bit, but also finish one project (editing next year's Proclaimers' Workbook). This evening I fly back to Rome and next week I am giving a retreat to friars from the Central Italian Province. This province is made up of five earlier provinces that joined together this past year. The weather here was cool when I first arrived, but these past few days have been wonderful. I feel guilty watching the weather channel and what is happening on the East Coast. I finished some reading: Rebbe by Joseph Telushkin This is the biography of the seventh Rebbe who led the Lubavitcher Hassidic Jews. Many of his followers believe that he could be the Messiah (although they tended to give various descriptions of what that might be. Telushkin is the author of a book of Jewish humor that I had previously read and enjoyed. It is obvious that he is highly devoted to this great figure. The Rebbe (this is the title with which he was identified) led his community through the traumatic post-war period, living in New York. He reached out to all varieties of Jews to bring them back to a practice of their faith. He sent young missionaries all throughout the world so that there might be representatives of Judaism to be an anchor for those Jews who wised to practice their faith. Yet, he strongly opposed Judaism or compromise in the Middle East. While he obviously was a great figure, Telushkin works a bit to much to excuse his obvious shortfalls. The Pirates of Barbary by Adrian Tenniswood This is an overview of the struggle of the English to deal with the threat of the Barbary Muslim Pirates during the 17th century. Many of the pirates were actually Europeans who had been captured and turned coats to become Muslim themselves. They attacked not only ships in the Mediterranean, but also raided the coasts of France, Italy, Spain, and even England and Ireland. The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis I have always wanted to read this Christian classic. It is filled with symbolism, and it deals with the choice one must make to embrace the joy and love of heaven. It contrasts that pure love with all the partial loves we so often experience upon this earth. I am not sure I like a lot of the symbolism that Lewis uses, but that has been true of many of the books I have read by this author. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King I very much like the writing style of King. I read his books not for the horror tales that he often presents, but for his choice of vocabulary and grammar. This volume is the first in a three part series. It deals with a mass murderer who drives a mercedes car into a crowd gathered to enter a jobs fair. There is a retired policeman who investigates this figure along with a young woman with various psycyological difficulties and a young African American boy who is a genius on the computer. I very much enjoyed this book. Edith Stein: Philosopher, Mystic, Martyr, Feminist by Alex Terego This is one of a series of short book on heroic or important Catholic figures. It gives a short biography of Edith Stein and a bit of her teaching. These short of books wet my apetite to read more about people like this. Marco Polo by John Man This is an account both of the travels of Marco Polo and his family and of the author’s trip in the footsteps of Marco Polo. The author gives a good account, and he tries to investigate the various controversies concerning the historicity of Marco Polo’s account. He speaks of the production of the account of his travels, as well as the consequences of his account upon subsequest exploration, including that of Christopher Columbus. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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