Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Buffalo - Chicago

June 27, 2018 Peace and Good, I am finally at the last of the chapters in the US. This one has just begun, but it appears as if it will not go on all that long. There are only a handful of motions. I am hoping that we will be finished by Thursday lunch. Saturday I fly back to Rome, the first time I will be there in three months. We have a definitory meeting this coming week, and then I will fly out to Nairobi for another chapter. The one in Kenya will be to decide whether that custody should ask to become a province at the General Chapter next spring. I have done their canonical visitation twice already, and they have asked me to offer a spiritual reflection to help guide them in this discernment. The weather here in Chicago is rainy and stormy. They have had a very wet May (the wettest on record) and June. The weather everywhere seems strange this year. On Friday we will have the wake and on Saturday the funeral of one of our friars here at Marytown. He was elderly, but died suddenly while on retreat. He was a later vocation. Before he entered he had been a bartender and a permanent deacon. His name was fr. Fran McGann. Please keep him in your prayers. I have finished some reading: People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks This is a book in the style of the Michener books. It presents a story which develops over a long period of time. It is about the attempt of a book restorer to work on a Passover book which is beautifully illustrated with miniatures, something that was very uncommon among that type of books. The book is being help in Sarajevo during the civil war, and is in danger of being destroyed by some fundamentalist or rightist terrorist. The restorer is the daughter of a brain surgeon of monumental narcissism, and she careens between her professional duty and an angry relationship with her mother. The book is very good. The New Deal by Michael Hilzik This is the first of Hilzik’s books that I have read, and I would be more than willing to read more. I listened to this particular book, and it is a very thorough, very thoughtful presentation of the history of the New Deal. While sympathetic to what Roosevelt tried to do, he is also critical of some aspects of what happened. It is interesting to hear how Roosevelt played one side against the other, and was not exactly the most truthful of people. Nevertheless, his efforts, while not totally successful, helped pull the country back from the abyss. Lincoln Unbound by Rich Lowry This is an overview of the work of Lincoln from the point of view of a conservative Republican who believes in the value of hard work and initiative. He hold that Lincoln, who came from the farmland and frontier, believed in the principal that the government should assist the individual to make the most of himself, but not interfere too much in the process. As with any figure such as Lincoln, he can quote statements to support his beliefs, just as those who would oppose his premises could also quote statements saying the opposite. The book is a little too polemical for my taste, but it was not a bad read. The Katyn Forest Massacre by Charles River Editors This is an overview of the massacre of Polish army officers and officials by the Soviet authorities in the forests of Katyn at the beginning of World War II. They did this to destroy the ruling class of Poland so that they could reshape society in their own image. Their crime was discovered by the Nazis when they invaded the Soviet Union, and ironically they called in neutral investigators to examine the crime scene (as if the Nazis hadn’t done the same or worse on their own land.) For as much as the Soviets tried to deny all of this, the truth came out in the days of Gorbicov. The Message of Walsingham: England’s Nazareth by R.W. Connelly This is the story of a Marian shrine in Great Britain. I chose to read this book because the friars there have been invited to serve at the shine, and I wanted to know more about it. It was founded in 1061, destroyed by King Henry VIII, and rebuilt by Anglicans and Catholics in two separate spots in this past century. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude Winkler


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