Saturday, January 30, 2021

Castro Valley - Coalinga - Arroyo Grande - Pismo Beach - Castro Valley

January 30, 2021 Peace and Good, I am completing my visitation of the California province. Last Sunday I went down to Coalinga which is in agricultural territory in the central valley of the state. I then went to the coast to visit our novices and to visit our parish along the coast in Pismo Beach. I will head back to Italy on the 4th if all works well. The one problem is that the Ghanian Embassy has my passport because I needed to send it to them for a visa request, and they have not yet sent it back. If needed, I could stay here a few extra days. The weather was very rainy for two days, something which is badly needed this year. Otherwise, it has been very nice, with the temperature between the mid 70's and mid 60's. I have been doing most of the visitation by phone due to covid. The rules for travel, etc. seem to change every 15 minutes. I have finished some reading: Cemetery Dance by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child This is another of the books by Preston and Child that I have read and enjoyed. They mostly involve mysteries in which the central figure, Inspector Pendergast, a ghostly genius who is incredibly eccentric, must resolve the difficulties. This volume involves a series of murders around a chapel where there is a strange cult meeting and performing animal sacrifices. There are possible zombies, a type of voodoo, etc. It is, as always with these authors, a book well worth reading. Canada is Awesome by Neil Pasricha This is a wonderful short book on how great Canada is. It is written and read by the son of an immigrant from India. The book shows the typical pride (always a humble pride) in the community nature of their country. The Seven Wonders by Steven Saylor I have read several books by Saylor on a figure in Rome in the days of Julius Caesar known as the finder (a type of detective). This book involves a trip taken by the son of the Finder to visit the seven wonders of the ancient world (the statue of Zeus at Olympus, the pyramids, the mausoleum in Halicarnassus, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Colossus of Rhodes, the temple of Aphrodite in Ephesus, and the Lighthouse in Alexandria). In each stop, the young son of the finder and his mentor (a Greek poet) must solve certain mysteries and crimes. Poverty of Spirit by Johannes Metz This is an incredible book that deals with the humility of the human condition and how it is only through our embracing of that condition that we can find peace and reach our full destiny. It is one that I am sure to read and reread again and again! Why Gettysburg Matters by Allen Guelzo This is a short treatment of the topic by a major author who has written a vast study on the Battle of Gettysburg. It was produced by audible books, and is one of a set of interviews by the company. Cat and Mouse on the Niger by Charles River Editors This is a short book dealing with the rush for colonies in Africa by the British and the French, especially on the Niger River (Nigeria, Benin, etc.), but also reaching out to the source of the Nile and the near war that occurred in Fashoda when the French arrived there and the British sought to expel them. End of Days: the Assassination of John F. Kennedy by James Swanson This is a very good treatment of the assassination of Kennedy. It mentions the various conspiracy theories and largely discounts them. It speaks of the strange personality of Oswald. It is generally favorable to the Kennedy’s and also the family of LBJ. I could recommend this book. The Devil’s Workshop: a Novel of Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad by Alex Grecian This is a strange novel of a group of vigilantes in London who capture criminals such as Jack the Ripper and torture them to make them pay for their crimes. A group of prisoners escape (something planned by the group) and cause havoc in the city, especially among the police and their families. Keep safe. fr. Jude


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