On new faces and Dostoevsky’s faith!

Sometimes the weekly reflection looks forward to coming events, but this one looks back to the aftermath of the planned closure of the friary in Athlone, which came as a shock to many, including the friars of the Province.

Writing last week, I mentioned the possibility of Multyfarnham deriving some benefit from this sad news and the silver lining of that dismal cloud duly popped up, when the Minister Provincial and his friar advisers announced new appointments for the men serving in both Clonmel and Athlone. I will just mention the transfers to our friary; we are going to be blessed with two Franciscans from Athlone, the current guardian there, Fr Gabriel, and Br Salvador, who asked to return to a friary he has lived in some years ago.

We are delighted to welcome both to our house, though we are unsure exactly when the moves will take place. It looks like Fr Gabriel will continue to serve in Athlone until definite plans are made for the future use of the Church in particular, and we expect he will be commuting between Athlone and Multy for some time to come. So, there will be new faces and new life to encourage us all for the immediate future!

This week, too, has been significant for the publication of a new book by our resident author, Fr John O’ Brien ofm. The title is The Crucible of Doubt: Dostoevsky’s Faith,” a work on the religious themes in the novels of this important Russian author. For those who haven’t had the opportunity to read this author yet, Fr John’s summary of the plots of the main novels will, perhaps, whet the appetite to plunge into his mindset and culture.  (Note that the book will soon be available on Amazon.  In the meantime, feel free to use the Contact Us form to get a message to Fr John.)

A review of the book can be found on the website under John’s name. For those interested in acquiring a copy, it is available on Amazon, along with previous offerings.

We congratulate our brother on his hard work in researching the often challenging material, (I find the Russian names hard to get my tongue around) and for the spiritual interpretation of these classics of Western literature.

I wonder what Dostoevsky would make of this contemporary war, initiated by Mother Russia? We might call it, “Crime and Punishment” or, “The Devils?

Kieran ofm