Books Worth a Look

  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave - This book is a must read. Better than anything else I've read, it takes you vividly into the life of a person in the 3rd world who has no choice but to escape. It is brilliantly written & works well as an audio book. Often I've sent info about the wonderful refugees I've met in Europe. We know only so much of their plight as it is painful for them to recall much less live through again by recounting it. But over time it is clear what they've lived through. This book is excellent as you discover the horrors of their world. Somewhat how to me, it is like being in Europe near a Concentration Camp. One has an obligation to visit it. 'Never to Forget.' In this case, to have our eyes opened.
  • Garbage King by Eliz Laird - The book is set on the streets on Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia and here lives Mamo and his sister Tiggist. When Mamo's "uncle" offers a job, he soon sets out on a bus to work. Little does he know that he is actually being sold into slavery...

Friday, April 2, 2010

Procession of Silence - Good Friday - Queretaro, Mx

La Procesión del Silencio as it is known here is without question a profound and compelling event to witness. 1st come several men dressed as Roman officials.

pics at:

Women colorfully dressed follow, each carrying a symbol such as bread, a fish etc. Young boys & girls dressed very much like those receiving their First Communion are next. Next come women dressed in white similar to brides maids. During the entire 45 minute long procession, everyone is silent, everyone. There are two drums at the beginning of each segment which sound out a simple drum beat. (If you are old enough the remember the Kennedy Funeral or have seen video of it, the sound & overall feel of the procession is similar.)

Then there begins a series of platforms containing figures of Christ at various stages of the Passion or Mary his mother clothed in black following the Via Crucis.

Most platforms are carried on the shoulders of men dressed in black, white, red or violet monastic robes with white cinctures (rope belts). Heads are covered in hoods; the men walk barefoot. For an American the off putting element is that the clothing of the men very much resembles that of the KKK - until one remembers that this religious event long precedes the KKK!

Preceding & following each platform are about 35 men similarly dressed but carrying crosses constructed with tree limbs. Each man drags a chain from an ankle. Thus the only sounds are the drum beat & chains.

There are also 3 platforms representing Mary. These are surrounded & carried by women dressed in black with long black mantillas and candles.

The spectacle, in its more root meaning, is impressive. Those who have seen & liked Gibson's The Passion of the Christ, would probably feel it produced a similar feel. Though I suspect with much less actual violence depicted.

Spending Holy Week in a Latin country is definitely well worth it. Religiously, culturally and festival like, it can't be beat!

To Sid and the Jewish Community, Happy Passover. Phil

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Thoughts on the amazing people I get to meet.

Rich, my 19 year old friend, soon to be Franciscan and recent community member at Haley House in Boston. An article he wrote.