Monday, April 9, 2018

Arroyo Grande, CA - Castro Valley, CA

April 9, 2018 Peace and Good, I have been in California since last Monday. This past week I presented a workshop to our seven novices for the States. I really enjoyed working with them. We had about three and a half hours of presentation a day from Tuesday until Friday. Yesterday, Sunday, I drove up from there to Castro Valley which is just outside of Oakland for the Provincial Chapter which begins this evening. It will go on through Thursday. On Friday, the Minister General, fr. Benedict Baek (the Asian Assistant General) and I will head back down to Arroyo Grande to visit the novices. Then off to Louisville for the next provincial chapter, this one of Our Lady of Consolation Province. I finished some reading: Day of Judgment by Jack Higgins Most of Higgins’ books are about spies, but this one has to do with the Berlin Wall and the attempt to smuggle refugees through the wall. It is rather well written, as are most of Higgins’ books. The action takes place in the early 1960’s with President Kennedy involved in the drama. He also includes some Catholic and Lutheran religious figures in quite a favorable light. Assassin by Ted Bell A large number of American diplomats are assassinated within a short period of time. A group of investigators tried to get to the bottom of the threat. They come up with an Arab leader who has sponsored a group of women assassins who are about to commit a major act of terror. The personifications in the book are a little weak, and I considered the narator (for I listened to this book) to be rather racist in his characterization. A Murder of Quality by John le Carre This is one of le Carre’s first books. It is about a murder in a university town in Great Britain. The wife of a tutor is killed, and George Smiley, the spy in many of le Carre’s books, is asked by a friend to investigate it a bit since the woman was a faithful contributor to a religious newspaper. Smiley discovers that the woman was not what she wanted others to think she was, and Smiley has to journey through a complicated set of details to get to the truth. The Copper Bracelet by Jeffrey Deaver et al This is an experiment in which each chapter of this thriller is written by a different famous author. There is no problem with continuity, but it is one of those books that probably tries to do a bit too much. It resembles one of those Russian dolls which are egg shaped, with one inside the other, inside the other, etc. The authors try to establish a complicated structure of a plot within a plot, etc. The heroes of the story are a bit too heroic. The whole thing comes across a bit unbelievable. The Viral Storm: The Dawn of a Pandemic Age by Nathan Wolfe This is the story of possible pandemics which could strike the world either through natural or through terrorist means. The author is a scientist himself who has worked to predict and react to various pandemics and other dangers. The author speaks about possible future dangers by showing how past dangers could be repeated. He gives a good amount of scientific knowledge in the course of his narratives. It is quite informative and well written. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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