Sunday, September 16, 2018

Seoul, South Korea - Rome

September 16, 2018 Peace and Good, I finished my time in Seoul where I met with the definitory of the South Korean Province. I had been the visitator twice in a row, and this visit was halfway between the last chapter and the next one. It was a visit to see how things were going, and they are going quite well. I then travelled back to Rome. This week I have been hosting a friend, a priest from Ghana whom I know from when he stayed at our friary in Ellicott City while he was studying. I have given a retreat at the seminary where he was teaching, and also to the diocescan priests of his diocese. It is good when I have guests like this, for I get to see the sites of Rome that I don't see otherwise. My favorite church is of St. Clement, not all that far from the Colosseum. It is an 11th century church built upon a 4th century church built upon a series of appartments which it is believed to be the dwelling place of the fourth pope. The weather in Seoul was quite nice, but I was told that it had just broken a bit for it had been quite hot in previous weeks. The weather here in Rome is still summerlike. I have finished some books: The Cambridge Five: the History of the Notorious Soviet Spy Ring during World War II by Charles River Editors This is a quick account of the five Cambridge students during the inter-war period who agreed to spy for the Soviet Union. I have read a more complete account of Kim Philby lately, and this version is in agreement with the details of the other book. Typical of Charles River books, it is short and to the point (which has both advantages and disadvantages). Chernobyl and Three Mile Island by Charles River Editors This is a Charles River account of two separate nuclear disasters. It is really just a cobbling together of two related topics. The Three Mile Island accident was serious enough, but does not even have the slightest similarity to the seriousness of the Chernobyl disaster. The account gives both a good amount of information as well as first hand reactions to what happened and how it affected the lives of those involved. Antoni Gaudi the Life and Legacy of the Architect of Catalan Modernism by Charles River Editors Gaudi is a great architect from the Barcelona area who designed the long anticipated Church of the Holy Family. His style was decidedly unusual, and it marked a whole type of architecture that became famous between the two World Wars. He lived an ascetical life, and is now being proposed for beatification. There is no question that he was dedicated to his faith, but there was also a certain strangeness in him toward the end of his life. The League of Nations by Charles River Editors This is the story of the establishment and the short duration of the League of Nations. The short book goes into the developments before and during World War I which showed the world leaders the need for some sort of international organization to short circuit the mechanism of the march to war. Unfortunately, the US never joined the organization, and the economy of the world disintegrated during the Great Depression. Furthermore, many nations turned to autocratic governments that all but ignored the rulings of the league, while the democratic governments put up with the decisions of those governments in order to practice appeasement and keep the peace, eventually destroying the league. The History of the Goths by Charles River Editors This is the story of the Ostrogoths and the Visigoths, two eastern tribes that invaded both the Eastern and the Western Roman Empires. They were responsible, in fact, for the fall of the Western empire, the king of the Goths overthrowing the last Roman Emperor. It also deals with the attempts of the Eastern Emperor to invade the West and reestablish the empire. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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