Friday, 28 October 2011

Presidential Elections

Yes - elections! Ireland has voted yesterday and France, where I live, and USA, where I lived in 1980's, are both gearing up for 2012 Presidential elections. Ireland has been served very well for the past 14 years by President Mary McAleese assisted by her husband, Martin. Before that, Ireland was well served by President Mary Robinson. We can only hope that the next President of Ireland will deliver a presidency that we will serve Ireland and further afield well. What a pity that if you live outside Ireland, even within the European Union, you have no vote.                                                   A T

Friday, 14 October 2011

l'Arche La Ferme de Trosly

From last Sunday night until today I was on retreat conducted by Jean Vanier at Trosly-Breuil outside Paris. There was a group of over 30 priests from Ireland on the retreat. In 2009 many of this same group had also made a retreat with Jean Vanier. Like the last time, the retreat was amazing and I'm so glad to have had such a time of prayer, listening and reflecting. The website if  you want to learn more about this l'Arche community is: www.lafermedetrosly.com                                                                  A T

Friday, 7 October 2011

October 2011

Into my fourth year in Paris. Away next week on a retreat with a group of clergy who are coming to France from Ireland. It will be conducted by Jean Vanier, founder of l'Arche community. Will be good to have time to think and pray. My birthday on Sunday, but I've had so many of them by now, I let it go past as quietly as possible.                                                                                                        AT

Friday, 30 September 2011

Email Gremlins!

For people who contact St Joseph's Church, Paris, please accept my apologies that the email address info@stjoeparis.org is NOT WORKING. Until this is sorted out please use stjosephparis@wanadoo.fr
Wish I knew how all this works but it does and we could not live without it here.                           A.T.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Another Summer!

The past few weeks have been wonderfully warm and sunny. It is like a late summer has visited Paris. Long may it last. Went for a jog yesterday evening and it was great to feel the warmth at this late stage in September.                                                                                                                                   A T

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Full Weekend

Saturday seminar on changes in the Missal given by Ms Julie Kavanagh (Diocese of Kildare & Leighlin)
Excellent presentations and exchanges for people from St Joseph's Church and Irish College, Paris. CCD teachers and assistants meeeing (all voluntary) on Saturday afternoon - over 200 children registered for religious formation this year at St Joseph's Church. Parish Information Day and International Food Fest on Sunday. Beautiful sunny day and great crowds socialising after the Masses with excellent food from different countries. And to add to it all, Ireland won in the Rugby World Cup against Russia. Bring on the Azzuri!                                                                                                                                         AT

Friday, 23 September 2011

Lourdes

Was in Lourdes for two days last week - the first time in a few years. Stayed with the French Passionist Community who live not far from the Grotto. A group of young people from St Joseph's Church, Paris, are volunteers with the Oblate Pilgrimage from Ireland. It was great to see their dedication done with joy. The train journey be TGV is a real treat. Weather was sunshine all the way. Hope to return again soon.
A T

Sam Maguire 2011

Great to be at Croke Park a real classic, great game. Well done to both sides, but the Dubs were superb. A T

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

NEDS

Non-Educated DelinquantS - what a film! Saw it last night. Powerful in it sadness yet bright in its hope.
I really admire those who stick to education in schools even when the odds against them are great. Fair play to brave families and especially parents who don't give up on their children.                        AT

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Father Cormac O'Hora, C.P.

Cormac, a native of Kiltimagh, Co Mayo, has spent a large part of his life in France. For many years he worked in a French parish along with other Passionists and previously served at St Jospeh's Church, Avenue Hoche, Paris. In recent years his health is not as robust and at present he is in hospital near Paris. This afternoon I visited him and found him cheerful but weak. Those who know him may wish to offer a prayer for Cormac at this time.                                                                                                       AT

Monday, 12 September 2011

All Ireland Football Final - 18th September 2011

By the kindness of a good friend in Belfast, I have a ticket to see Kerry v Dublin on Sunday next at Croke Park. I'm really delighted to have this chance. True, I am from Co Wicklow but it will be the Dubs that I'll be cheering for on Sunday.                                                                                  AT

Console Conference, Royal Hospital, 9 September 2011

Was honoured to speak at this suicide awareness confernece addressed by President Mary McAleese. Her address was truly inspirational. Other speakers from home and abroad brought diversity to a great gathering who attended. Paul Kelly and all at Console deserve great credit for bringing together such an event. The weather that day was beautiful with a lot of sunshine. The Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, looked spectacular.                                                                                                                             A T

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Back to Paris

Back after a few lovely weeks in Ireland. It was great. Highlight was the baptism of baby Emma Mary who is second child of my niece, SinĂ©ad and her husband Kevin. The family BBQ comes a close second. It was also good to get a visit to Belfast and also to Aughrim (Co Wicklow). Apart from those trips I was warmly welcomed and made to feel at home by my sister, Helen. Good also to be back!           AT

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Summer in Bray

Arrived in Bray, Co, Wicklow, Ireland, for a summer break. It is always good to be back home. Was able to visit relatives and friends in the past few days and say a prayer at Parents' grave in Redford, Greystones. Hope to get a ticket to see Tyrone v Dublin at Croke Park on Saturday evening next. Baptising my grand-niece on Sunday afternoon. Looking forward to a family gathering at that time. May even get a game of golf  while home. Keeping in touch with Paris and further away by wonders of email and Internet. A T
                                                                                                                             

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Accountability

The House of Commons Select Committees in London sitting in connection with police, News of the World, etc make interesting viewing and reading afterwards. Whatever a person's views on all that has happened and is happening in this matter, there is a sense that people are being called to account for their action or inaction. The contrast to this way of proceeding with the church response to the recent Cloyne Report is striking. Are the ecclesiastical structures not there to respond to the urgent need for accountability or are they being ignored?                                               A T

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

July Celebrations

14th July is Bastille Day in France with bands and parades. This commemorates the storming  of the Bastille prison on 14 July 1790 leading to the establishment of a Republic. There will be huge crowds in Paris and the Tour de France will be an added attraction.
12th July in Belfast and other places is high on French news bulletins this morning for less worthy reasons. Please God people of goodwill will continue seeking ways to peace togther.                 A T

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Papal Knight

In 1998 Rupert Murdoch, in the news at present, was made a Knight of St Gregory the Great, a Papal Award. It is reported that among other donations, he contributed $10 million for the construction of Los Angeles Cathedral prior to this award being made. Interesting!                                    A T

Thursday, 7 July 2011

News of The World RIP

News of the World newspaper departs. When will its replacement Sunday newspaper by the same publishing group be launched? Maybe sooner rather than later. It will be interesting to see what happens.
A T

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Unacceptable Intrusiveness

The current revelations about the lengths to which some newspapers will go to for a story beggar belief. This intrusion is wrong. It has an extra dimension when murdered children and their families are concerned. The outcome of this 'phone hacking' story will only be known in the future. Media revelations about instutional criminal activity and moral failings have served society well in recent years. Now the same rigorous standards need to be applied to media as the spotlight is shone into their workings. Certain media people and groups seem prepared to do anything, no matter how intrusive or insensitive, to get their story. The withdrawal of newspaper advertising by some companies is an encourgaing sign.   A T

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

A Worrying Time

As court cases relating to last year's rioting in Ardoyne are in the news yesterday and today, another marching season is reaching its high point. My hope and prayer is that people can find a way to meet on the level of humanity and find a way to dispel hatred, avoid harm and hurt. I am not so certain that this will happen, but it has to be the hope for all and an urgent work that remains to be done. When I sought to find a middle ground in a Family Centre that was nearing the final planning stage to be shared across the historical divide, people in various parts of the world contacted me to say it was a worthy project. My transfer out of Belfast put pay to that. I am still convinced that peace in the Summer will not be achieved until normal living for all happens in the Autumn, the Winter and the Spring as well. How I would love to be still able to offer light and hope to good people on each side of a hurting but great community quite capable of being torn apart again this year. Please God the peace may yet be won for all. A.T.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Paris in Summer 2011

Summer has set in with warm and humid weather. Still, I'm not complaining! There are a great number of visitors around the city with a wide range of languages. Now and then, I hear an Irish accent! Four ordinations last Saturday for the Archdiocese of Paris. Parish here getting quiet as schools close and some people go away on their holidays. A meeting tomorrow night at Irish College in preparation for Eucharistic Congress in Dublin during June 2012. Following events in Greece as their financial situation seems to get worse. It's a really tough time for so many people caught up in a situation they did not create; can only hope that there will be some fair and just way out found. Some of the solutions offered so far seem to hurt the 'little' people most.                                                                                                          A T

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Tennis et al

Last week it was Rory delivering at the USA Open in Golf. This week it is Tennis at Wimbledon with all that goes with this great sporting event. Then, there was a great victory, the first in 34 years, for London in the GAA 1st Round of the Championship when they beat Fermanagh. An interesting result!    A T

Friday, 24 June 2011

Another Weekend in Paris

At long last there is something of a return to summer weather - after all 21 June is longest day of the year! A great Marymount Religious Sister died during the week, Sister Camille. She was 99 years of age and had lived at Marymount School Paris for 74 years. Originally from Portugal, she served faithfully the school and her community. Some years ago her health declined and for the past few years she was confined to her room. She always had a smile of welcome whenever anyone entered her room for a chat or to say a prayer with her. She will be sorely missed.
This Saturday there is a SOS booksale at St Joseph's. Booksales always attract a big number of people.
This weekend, the last one in June, will see the fully schedule of Masses and other services. Next weekend, the summer schedule comes into existence with one less Mass on a Sunday until the end of August.
Had a jog around Parc Monceau yesterday evening. I have no idea how often I was lapped!         A. T.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Trouble in Belfast

Am really sorry to see images of trouble of streets around Newtownards Road and Short Strand over past two nights. There are issues to be resolved but attacking people will solve nothing. Hope and pray that there will be a resolution of whatever the issues are. From this distance I admit that I cannot know what the issues on the ground really are. But I hope everyone will soon be safe again and that the issues can be resolved through dialogue and talking with each other. A.T,





























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Monday, 20 June 2011

Busy Weekend

There is nothing as good as being busy! Being the only priest at St Joseph's Church for the past weekend and next there is no shortage of activity and great people to meet. On Saturday besides the Masses, I baptised a baby and celebrated a wedding. Then, I attended the Paris 'Goal Ball'. As many will know this is a great helping charity established by John O'Shea to help the poorest of the poor. The ball was held at the Irish College, Paris. What a great place to have a good meal, music, etc. The Guest of Honour was Gabriel Byrne, the Irish Actor. Like Cinderella, I had to leave before midnight as I had early Mass on Sunday morning. But I really enjoyed it and there were great people at the table at which I was placed.
Activity continues here with news of the death of Sister Camille of the Marymount School Community, Paris.
She was aged 99 years and her funeral is on Wednesday this week. I am honoured to have been invited to celebrate her funeral Mass and burial. May she rest in peace.
A bit tired today because I could not go to bed until Rory had won the US Open. Well done!  A.T.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Anniversary of Holy Cross School Protest 2001

19th June 2001 marked the beginning of Holy Cross School protest. I was in Rome at that time finishing a seven year assignment there. In November 2000 I had been appointed to Holy Cross as parish priest to take effect the following summer. Others are better placed to give an account of what happened from June to August 2001. I arrived at end of July and was elected chair of board of governors of Holy Cross Girls and Boys Schools on 6th August 2001. The schools were to reopen on Monday, 3 September. With less than a month to go before that date I had a lot of learning to do. What happened from September 3 until 23 November when the protest was suspended is well documented. Media interest is in the 10th Anniversary of the beginning of the protest. Clergy and others who were there need to give an account of what they did. I believe the 10th Anniversary that matters is in November 2011 when the 10th Anniversary of protest ending will come about. After November 2001 it took some time to get back to any semblence of normality on Ardoyne Road but a beginning was made. That process is still going on and needed. I was moved from Belfast in 2008 but my interest and prayers for a final healing continue to this day. A T.











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Wednesday, 15 June 2011

A NEW BEGINNING!

After closing down my previous blog (due mainly to my own neglect) a new one begins today. I'm still at St Joseph's Church, Avenue Hoche, Paris where I have lived and worked as parish priest since 2008. Before that I was at Holy Cross, Belfast. On Monday I was at a meeting of the Passionists(group I belong to) in Crossgar, Co. Down. From time to time I hope to resume sharing views and reflections on any topics that interest me (and may interest you). Each week I write a reflection for St Joseph's parish bulletin www.stjoeparis.org
Maybe that is enough for a start and hope to be back to the blog soon.
A T