Tuesday, April 12, 2005

What I did on my spring vacation.

The death of a pope is a sad event which invites sustained reflection, but the novemdiales also provided me with a pretext for a much-needed break from blogging. Short Experiment is going very well, but finding time for regular posting on this site has been difficult. The death of Pope John Paul II also presented me with a journalistic conundrum. Though I was strongly affected by the passing of the only Pontiff that Catholics of my generation have ever known, I also didn't feel like I had anything particularly worthwhile to write about the event. At the same time, it struck me as vaguely impious to post on other topics during the novemdiales if I wasn't going to say much about the topic that was consuming a lot of the world's attention during the past week. Now that the prescribed period of mourning is over, so is my hiatus from blogging and the philosophical hand-wringing that accompanied it.

So what have I done in the last week or so? A lot of things. I've attended some interesting liturgies, which I'll discuss more in a separate post. Last weekend I continued my effort to visit the various California missions, making it down to Mission San Carlos Borromeo and Mission San Juan Bautista. The former mission - perhaps most noteworthy as the place where Blessed Junipero Serra is buried - is located in posh Carmel-By-The-Sea, an oceanfront town that is also home to some gorgeous beaches, a pricey though unremarkable shopping district and a lot of narrow, poorly-marked streets. Much more inviting was San Juan Bautista, a still-rustic mountain town that retains an Old California feel with a Main Street lined with mom-and-pop stores and a profusion of cacti and noisy, evidently wild roosters. During working hours I've also embarked on a few field trips with the refugees, including visits to the Children's Discovery Museum and Tech Museum of Innovation in San Jose and an upcoming junket to Santa Cruz. On weekdays outside working hours I've enjoyed scrumptious dinners and fellowship with the Jesuits at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose and at local favorite Krung Thai. Perhaps now you understand why I've been too busy to post much on this blog. I'm sure I'll continue to be busy in the next few weeks, but as Pope John Paul II's tomb in St. Peter's begins to welcome visitors and the College of Cardinals prepares to elect the next Pontiff, I'll do my best to keep you all up to speed on goings on here at Santa Clara. AMDG.


At April 14, 2005 10:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Joe:

This is (jesuit) Jon's Dad. I've enjoyed reading some of your postings on your blog and since you don't seem to be getting a lot of comments lately I thought I'd post one. Also, I very much enjoyed meeting and chatting with you when I came to dinner at the house a few weeks back. Hope you are enjoying your experiment. Take care, Joe.

At April 15, 2005 2:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a bit confused at when they start counting the days of the Novemdiales. The traditional novena of mourning I've encountered are counted from the day of death but now they're still saying Masses at the Vatican. Apparently, Novemdiales can either be nine-days from the day of death or funeral.

Glad to know you've toured the missions. It must have been culturally enriching.


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