Sunday, June 12, 2022

San Juan Bautista, CA - Rome

June 13, 2022 The Feast of St. Anthony of Padua Peace and Good, Our provincial chapter in California went very well. I flew back to Rome the Saturday after the chapter, flying from San Francisco to London and then on to Rome. The was the easiest transit that I have had in the past couple of years. There are no more forms to fill out, no more covid tests to take. Even passport control was remarkably easy. I hope it continues like this. This past week we held our definitory. There was quite a bit to do since we had not met since before Easter. As always, we dealt with topics from all over the world. One of the new items on the agenda is the fact that the Holy Father has given us a decree that allows us to elect Religious Brothers as major superiors (provincials, custodes and vicars). California did this, so we approved the election and sent it on to the Decastery of Religious for their final approval. It is very hot these days, and Rome is packed with tourists. After the past few years with very disappointing tourist seasons, this has to be a tremendous relief to those who own stores and restaurants here in Rome. This week we have a meeting with the Presidents of the various federations of the Order (there are seven). Then on Sunday I will be flying to Los Angeles for the second part of their provincial chapter. I finished some reading: Genesis by James McKeown This is one of the best commentaries on Genesis that I have ever read. The author is from an Evangelical background, but while not being fundamentalistic, he respects and addresses the concerns raised by them. He has a good way of linking what is being written in Genesis with what was occurring in Israel at the time that the book was written, probably around the time of the exile. He links the various allusions within the book and outside of it. He deals with the larger spirituality of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed it and learned a lot. The First Frontier: the Forgotten History of Struggle, Savagery, and Endurance in Early America by Scott Wiedensaul This is an account of the meeting of native Americans and colonial settlers in the era that ran from the first entrance of those colonists up to the time of the American Revolution. It is thorough, and speaks of the many wars and treaties made between the two groups. One of the things that is significant is that each of the groups really did not consider the other to be fully human, and they treated them that way. It gives a lot of information, but the writing style of the author is not all that good. The information is not engaging. Medieval Art: From Beginning to the end by T. Silva This is a very short overview of the art of the post-Roman era, the Carolingian era and the early Renaissance. It is very incomplete and sketchy at best, but it does give a little good information Lies Sleeping by Ben Aaronovitch Aaronovitch is one of my favorite authors. This series of books called the Rivers of London is based on the career of a young half black detective who has been singled out to be part of a squad that deals with violations of magic. In this volume, there is a plot to kill one of the ancient spirits of London to gain the power from that entity (but possibly also to create a totalitarian state ruled by the miscreant who is formulating the plot. The books in this series are fun, a bit cheeky. A Thief of Time by Tony Hillerman This is a novel about murders and possible kidnappings of those who are seeking ancient pottery in the Navaho reservation. There are two tribal policemen who are trying to solve a number of strange occurrences. The author seeks to bring the reader into the Navaho mindset, which I believe he does very well. I would recommend any of Hillerman’s books. The Red Prince: The Life of John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster by Helen Carr This is the story of the founder of the house of Lancaster which was represented by a red rose and which would be one of two houses involved in the War of the Roses. Carr is a good historian, giving tons of information in a very pleasant presentation. I could easily recommend this book for someone interested in the pre-Tudor period of history in England. Easter Island by Charles River Editors This is a short outline of the island known as Easter Island but also by its original name, Rapa Nui. It is a lone island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The most famous thing on the island is the statues that have been set up by the various groups of natives called Maoi. The island is also famous for the ecological disaster that occurred when the population grew without resources to supply for their needs, something that is noted in Jared Diamond’s books. Caravaggio by Delphi Art Classics This particular volume of the Delphi Art series gives an overview of Caravaggio’s most important works with some critical notes. It also gives a short biography. However, it is a bit scarce on information. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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