Monday, July 5, 2021

Mesilla Park - Rome

July 5, 2021 Peace and Good, I returned to Rome last Monday. I was originally supposed to return the previous Saturday, but my flight was cancelled at the last minute (American Airlines). Travelling is beginning to get easier. I still had to fill out a long form to get back into Italy, but once that was done, there were no difficulties. It was the check in agent who gave me the heads up about the form, and I am grateful that she mentioned it (for otherwise I would not have been allowed to board the plane). The weather here in Rome is quite hot (although not as hot as parts of the States in these days). We began our definitory on Thursday, and will continue to at least this coming Thursday. Part of our time in these days is a meeting (in person for some, by zoom for others) with the presidents of the federations. That will take place each afternoon this week. I will be here in Rome until Sunday when I fly back to the States. This trip will involve Chicago, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and London. I finished some reading: White House Connection by Jack Higgins This is part of a long series on a group of anti-terrorist experts under the direct authority of the Prime Minister of Great Britain who work in collaboration with a similar unit under the authority of the president of the US. In this episode, they are investigating the assassination of a group of pro-IRA activists in the US and London by an unknown figure. The Repute and Reality of Being a Roman Emperor by OpenLearn This short course deals with some of the symbols and activities of the Roman Emperors to be respected and honored throughout the Roman empire. Ironically, the signs of homage to the emperor were often more elaborate in the provinces than in Rome itself. This includes the deification of the emperor during his own lifetime. The Battle on the Ice by Charles River Editors This is the story of the successful defense of some of the Russian city states against the invasion of troops from Germany and the Baltic area during the 13th century. The leader of the troops of Novgorod was the famous Alexander Nevsky. The Winter War by Captivating History This is the story of the invasion of Finland by the Soviet Union at the beginning of the Second World War. Although they were massively outnumbered, the Finns put up an incredible defense. The poor showing of the Soviet troops was one of the things that convinced Hitler to invade the Soviet Union in 1940. The Murmur of Bees by Sofia Segovia This is easily one of the best books that I have read in a long time. It is the story of a family in Mexico around the time of World War I (with the pandemic of influenza at that time and the revolutionary governments). They adopt a child with a cleft pallet who has a miraculous union with nature, especially the bees. This is a translation into English from a Mexican author. I highly, highly recommend it. Duel with the Devil by Paul Collins and Mark Peckham This is the story of a murder trial in Manhattan around 1800. It is a true story, and what makes it fascinating are that two of the defense attorneys are Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. A young woman is found dead in a well which was dug by the Manhattan water company (run by Burr). A fellow boarder in her boarding house is accused. There are many twists and turns, along with a lot of background information. It is well presented. American Spring by Walter Borneman This is a book on the first months of the Revolutionary War, including especially the Lexington and Concord battle and the battle of Bunker Hill, along with the story of the Continental Congress held in Philadelphia. The characters are well presented, and there is a wealth of information. The Secret Life of J. Edgar Hoover by Anthony Summers This is a tell it all book on the life and career of J. Edgar Hoover. It goes into his hidden gay life style, his very questionable financial dealings, even with mobsters, his possible involvement with the assassination of JFK, his gathering of information on politicians to blackmail them, etc. I am not sure if it is all true, but if even a quarter of it is accurate, then this man was one of the most dangerous in the history of our country. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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