Saturday, November 27, 2021

Buffalo - Castro Valley, CA

November 27, 2021 Peace and Good, I visited my family in Buffalo, and I also had a canonical visitation with one of our Croatian friars who serves in Our Lady of Bistrica Parish in Lackawanna, NY. The weather was good, and the food even better (as it always is in Buffalo). I flew to Oakland on Tuesday to visit our friary in Castro Valley, CA. We have two friaries in this town, the provincialate where I am staying and a parish down the street. The Minister General and the Assistant General for Asia will be arriving here Monday for the beginnin of a short tour of the States (in preparation for the provincial chapters this coming year). We will be heading back to Rome on December 10th. The weather here is most pleasant, around 70 degrees today. This morning the provincial of California signed the official document which establishes the delegation in Vietnam as a custody. This is the last step before they become a province, something that will probably not happen for 10 years or so. I would like to ask you to pray for my nieces husband, Reid, who is seriously ill. He and Crissy have three small children. I finished some reading: Chile and Argentina by Mark Szuchman This is a review of the history of these two South American countries from the time of the European exploration until the present. The narration is good, but the production has the annoying habit of reading quotes from various figures with the supposed accent they would have used, a bit racist in my opinion. The information contained in the presentation is quite good and thorough, if not exhaustive. This is one of the series of productions by Knowledge Products made available on John Jay by Captivating History This is a short biography of one of the principle figures of the American Revolution (significant in the writing of the constitutions) and the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the prime mover in the establishment of the Jay Treaty with Great Britain, and the governor of New York. These short biographies (c. 110 pages each) give a good outline of the significance of the figure to history, and also a bit of information about the personal life of the subject. Krishna by Charles River Editors This is a presentation of the figure of Krishna in the Hindu religion (as well as Buddhism and Jainism). The book gives an explanation of who Krishna is, and how he is worshipped. It also goes into a long overview of some of his exploits when he lived upon the earth. The Pigeon Tunnel by John le Carre I very much like the books of John le Carre (David Cornwall), but this is not exactly one of his spy novels. It is a type of autobiography, a presentation of times and places and situations which gave rise to many of his characters and plots for his books. I listened to this book, and I have to say it was absolutely entertaining. Le Carre’s writing style is always clever, and this book is one of his most masterful presentations. Gettysburg: A History for the People by John Cox This is an overview of the battle of Gettysburg. It is filled with useful detail, but also quite a bit of information that would be on interest only to those who are fascinated by the battle. One of things that I most missed in the book was a series of maps in the text that would help one to follow the various movements being described. An American Spy by Olen Steinhauer This is an incredibly complex spy story which leaves one wondering from the beginning to the end. What further complicates one’s understanding is the tendency to back track to an earlier episode to describe what really happened (or at least what happened according to someone else who had been present for that person). It involves the CIA, the Chinese spy agency and a secret UN agency that has been set up to spy. One is never quite sure which side the participants are on, or rather which sides (for they are often playing one group off against another). Yet, the book is very well written and I could recommend it. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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