Monday, January 28, 2019

Rome - Ellicott City - Clifton, NJ

January 28, 2019 Peace and Good, I hope you are all well. This past week in Rome was more like being in London in winter than Rome. It has been cold and rainy. I managed to get a number of projects done throughout the week, which means that I can now apply myself to my coming travel and maybe even write an article or two for the Messenger magazine. I am caught up to the April article, but I must always be a bit ahead on those lest something come up and I not be able to write them at the last minute. I was able to get my visa to Vietnam for my trip there at the end of February. I will go there for the dedication of a new seminary building, and then travel to Manila to give a workshop to our novices in Tagaytay (an hour outside of Manila). At the last minute, British Airways cancelled my flight to Baltimore and rebooked me to Dulles. That is about an hour away from BWI, and I had a rental car already arranged in Baltimore. What a mess! They say they will reimburse me for my travel expenses from Dulles to BWI, but I am not all that sure of that given my experiences of trying to navigate the beaurocracy of big airlines. I got into Ellicott City on Saturday evening, and drove yesterday to Clifton, NJ where I am beginning a visitation of a few friaries (here, Bridgeport, Ct and Boston). These are friaries that are under the authority of our Montreal custody which is made up of Polish friars who serve the needs of Polish immigrants. Then starting next Sunday I will be down in Ellicott City for about ten days for some appointments and meetings. I finished some reading: Corsets and Codpieces by Karen Bowman This book deals with the history of the more absurd varieties of fashion throughout the ages. Some of them were just strange (high, high headpieces, very large codpieces on men, etc.). Others were actually dangerous for they put those who wore them in danger due to their inconvenience or their flammability. This is not exactly a scientific study – it is a more entertaining light piece of investigation. Dark Justice by Jack Higgins An assassin tries to kill the president of the US. HE is tied to a Russian oligarch who is using trying to sow confusion among the powers of the West. A secret organization under the direct authority of the Prime Minister is able to sort out the complicated plot and to enact revenge on the plotting parties. The Hoover Dam by Charles River Editors This tells the story of construction of the great dam in Nevada on the Colorado River that produced Lake Mead. This dam was an enormous project built during the depression. It is doubtful that it would ever pass environment regulations today, but it produced a source for water and hydro-power that allowed the great growth of the southwest, especially the Los Angeles area. The English Spy by Daniel Silva A British ex-princess is murdered by a bomb placed on her vacation boat. It turns out that an ex-IRA bomber has arranged the assassination. The British secret service call in the Mossed, asking for the help of Gabriel Mossed to find the killer and kill him. He seeks the help of another IRA member, a British counter-intelligence officer who had become a paid assassin, to find the killer. The book is well written, as are almost all of Silva’s books. The First Salute by Barbara Tuchman The title of the book deals with the fact that the Dutch of the island of St. Eustacius in the Caribbean were the first to give the traditional salute to the flag of the rebellious colonies that became the United States. This masterpiece speaks of the foreign relations of the colonies along with a number of the military campaigns that led to independence. Tuchman is a great historian/popular author, and this is one of her better books. I hope you have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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