Saturday, May 14, 2022

Montreal - Toronto - Louisville - Ellicott City

May 14, 2022 Peace and Good, This has been another couple of weeks of extensive travelling. One of the friars from Montreal drove us to Toronto via a place called Kashube (which is a lakeside resort that the friars run in northern Ontario). In Toronto, we visited the various apostolates run by the friars. Last Saturday we flew to Louisville. Sunday I celebrated the Mass at Mount St. Francis. It is great to celebrate with lay people, because most of the time I am involved with itnernal ministry to the friars. fr. Carlos was driven to Gethsemane, the monastery where Thomas Merton lived, for a week of prayer. I flew to Ellicott City for some dental care (a root canal, some oral surgery). I also used this time to get my second booster shot. Today I fly back to Louisville for the opening of the provincial chapter of Our Lady of Consolation Province on Monday afternoon. I will be there with fr. Carlos until next Saturday when we fly back to Baltimore for the opening of the chapter of Our Lady of Angels Province. I finished some reading: The Republic of Finland by Charles River Editors This is an account of the development of Finland from being a province of Sweden and Russia to being an independent nation. It especially deals with the Winter War, a war provoked by the Soviet Union in which Finland, although the loser, managed to bloody the Soviet Union so much that Hitler saw them as an impotent opponent, leading to his invasion of the Soviet Union later that year. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and the Republic of Turkey by Charles River Editors This is a short biography of the father of the modern Turkish nation. It covers his rise from a rather insignificant army officer to the president of the nation who led Turkey into modernity (even if he did so with an iron fist at times). 20 Great Military Disasters of the Middle Ages by Anthony Holland This is a short account of twenty of the worst defeats experienced by various nations and peoples during the Middle Ages. None of the accounts are that profound, either for the causes of the war or the conduct of the war or its consequences, but the accounts do give enough information to get a general sense of what happened. Burying the Dead in Ancient Egypt by Charles River Editors Unlike most of Charles River Editors’ books, this one is an extensive coverage of the burial customs (the mummification, the tombs, the gods worshipped who were associated with death and the afterlife, etc.) in ancient Egypt, from its earliest days to the Roman period. It has enormous amounts of information, almost too much if one is not interested in diving into the topic profoundly. Michelangelo by Hourly History This is a relatively short biography of the artist Michelangelo, part of a series of artists by Hourly History. It gives an overview of his career as a sculptor and painter (a role that he never really wanted). The book does not go all that deep into his person and psychology, but it is a good overview. 1942: the Year that Tried Men’s Souls by Winston Groom In the beginning of 1942, the allies were losing the war all over the place. By the end of the year, the allies had scored their first victories and the axis powers were beginning to retreat (e.g. the Battle of Midway, North Africa, etc.). Groom has a good way of telling a story, including many stories of individuals within the context of the larger narrative. St. Theresa of Avila by Hourly History This is quite a pleasant biography of St. Theresa. While mentioning the doubts concerning her ecstatic phenomena, the author admits that we cannot be sure and that one’s final judgment is often determined by one’s starting point. I found the book informative and respectful. Critical Mass by Sara Peretsky This is the story of a family that started out as Jewish inhabitants in pre-war Vienna, and how a great scholar escapes to the US after the war. Her secrets are stolen by a man who makes a fortune off her ideas which lead to an early computer. The detective, V.I Warshawsky, has to sort through layers of identities and lies. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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