Monday, May 22, 2023

Rome - Seoul, South Korea

May 23, 2023 Peace and Good, We had our General Definitory this past week. As usual, we discussed situations from all over the world. I really believe that I should get frequent flyer miles for each of our meetings. On Saturday night I flew here to Korea. I will be here for three weeks doing the Canonical Visitation. I have already done this a few times in Korea, so I know the situation fairly well. The weather here is warm and a bit overcast. Our main provincial house is right near the river and very close to downtown. The Church here is an international parish, Masses in Korean, English, Spanish, Italian and German. After this, I will be flying back to Rome for two weeks of meetings, and then back to the States for good. I finished some reading and listening: The French and Indian War by Christopher Collier and James Lincoln Collier This is a relatively short explanation of what led up to the French and Indian War (the settlements of the colonial powers and their competition). It also gives a quick outline of the major events and the outcome of the war. The Middle East in the 20th Century by Eamonn Gearon This is a very good overview of the events and politics of the Middle East in the 20th century, from the breakdown of the Ottoman Empire to the present time after the Arab Spring and the war on terrorism. The professor quite fair in his presentation and informative. War and Decision by Douglas Feith This is the story of the decision to invade Iraq and its consequences from the viewpoint of one of the advisors to President Bush. He especially tries to prove many of the myths created by the press to have been false from the start. I don’t know if I agree with all of his explanations, but it was good to hear them. Chichen Itza by Charles River Editors This is the history of one of the greatest Mayan city which grew when other cities in its region faded in importance, and which eventually failed itself. The book speaks of the various features of its architecture. The Batavian Republic by Kelly Mass This is a short history of the Batavian Republic (Netherlands and Belgium) during the Napoleonic era. It deals with some of the tensions among the various parties involved. Hero of the Empire by Candace Millard This is the story of how Winston Churchill travelled to South Africa to be a war correspondent during the Boer war. He was captured, and he eventually escaped from imprisonment, providing the British with a hero in a war in which they were not doing all that well. The Sense of Wonder by Rachel Carson This is a beautiful short presentation (more of an essay than a book) recommending to those who raise children to introduce them to the wonders of nature. Carson does not recommend teaching the children the names of things as much as letting them experience them face to face. Tell Me Lies by J.P. Pomare A counselor in Australia has a patient who might be harassing her family and even setting fires first in her home, and then at her business. Se must figure out who it might be and why he is doing this before it endangers her family. There are a number of surprises in the course of the story, and some twists and turns that could easily be called disturbing. Cardinal Wolsey by Mandell Creighton This is a biography of Cardinal Wolsey who worked for King Henry VIII and was eventually treated very poorly by him when he was not able to acquire a divorce for him so that he could marry Anne Boleyn. The author is fair in his presentation, showing his flaws but also speaking of his great talents. The Roman Empire and the Indian Ocean by Raoul McLaughlin This is a fascinating presentation (with a lot of detail) of the commerce that the Romans engaged in during the early centuries A.D. It turns out that this commerce produced a major percentage of tax income for the empire, but it also produced a huge drain on silver and gold, so much so that the currency had to be adulterated. For anyone interested in this period, this is a very informative book. Ancient Greece 101 by Christopher Bellitto This is an overview of the history, culture, and politics of the Greek city states (especially Athens and Sparta). It deals with philosophy and mythology. Bellitto is very entertaining in his presentation. This was a course produced by Learn25. I could easily recommend it to those interested in the era. Have a good week. Shalom fr. Jude


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