Friday, 27 July 2012

Summer arrives in Paris!

Beautiful sunshine over the past week following rather wet and dull weather. Did a jog earlier in the week and it is warm! Paris is full of visitors and empty of its regular residents - away on holiday. At St Joseph's Church the number of Masses is reduced during July and August from 5 to 4 to reflect this change in numbers. Many visitors come along at weekends and always good to greet them. A few Passionist visitors as well add to our little religious community. The shop sales are on till the end of July and it is a good time to stock the wardrobe! Olympics open tonight in London - hope it will be a good games. Still no news on appointments to the various communities of the Passionists.
Watch this space!                                                                             A.T.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Summer but not sunshine

I like July in Paris.There are so many tourists enjoying the sights and chatting away. But what weather we are having - this afternoon monsoon rain, thunder and lightning. Still it could be worse. Got my free Paris travel card this morning - age! Also, at long last got the final approval for the new lift/elevator installed some months ago in St Joseph's. What a saga - but all is well that ends well. Have another Passionist Curia meeting in Dublin next week. Wish I had registered for frequent flyer miles! Looking forward to rest of July and hope that the weather improves.                               AT

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Summer in Paris 2012

Long silence on this blog - back writing after a hectic month of May. Loved the time I spent at the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin. Got elected as Vice-Provincial of the Passionists at the Chapter in May held in Larne - a bit of a surprise to me and perhaps to some others. Of the five in the Provincial Curia, four were re-elected after serving four years and 'moi' was added as 'new boy on the block'. Apppointments to the various houses will be made by the beginning of September at the latest ~~ I would have liked this completed sooner but I have to be patient! Poor Euro 2012 for RoI and not much better in the Rugby in NZ. St Joseph's Church is in a lower gear now that the summer is here. There are plans already on the parish website for return to full speed in September. These weeks are a chance to 'catch up' and get work done on the building and facilities. Will be here for month of July and take a few weeks in Ireland during August.                    AT 

Saturday, 12 May 2012

A busy month of May in Paris

Month of May a busy time: last weekend there was the Summer Fair at St Joseph's. Went well. Then, on Tuesday, 8 May, the celebration of 25 years in the rebuilt St Joseph' Church. A great event. Today, Marymount School had First Communions at St Joseph's Church. Tomorrow I go to the Provincial Chapter of the Passionists. It is being held in Larne, Co Antrim. The last weekend of May there will be First Communions of the Parish and on Pentecost Sunday there will be Confirmation. A busy but great time with great numbers of people involved. Must pay more attention to this blog!                  AT

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Sad News

Was in Belfast on Tuesday for funeral of Fr Casimir Haran who died following a short illness. May he rest in peace. He spent a lot of his life as a missionary in Africa. His family are heartbroken and he leaves a gap among us his brethren. Then, the tragedy of the school chidren dying in the bus crash coming home from a holiday. Their families must be inconsolable at this time. As the local priest commented - there is nothing that can be said, we can only cry and stay together. My thoughts and prayers are with all who lost their life in that terrible crash. Things like these put a lot of other matters into perspective.       A T

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Signs of Hope

On Saturday morning last six adults who are preparing for baptism, confirmation and First Communion attended what is called 'Appel Decisif' at Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris. The ceremony is a decisive moment when each person accepts a purple stole from Cardinal Vingt-Trois, Archbishop of Paris, and signs their name as a pledge to go forward for baptism at the Easter Vigil in their own parish. There are 350 adults preparing for baptism in 95 Paris parishes. I was delighted to be invited to read the Gospel (in English) and to offer a prayer of the faithful during the ceremony. St Joseph's six candidates for baptism have been preparing alongside another four adults who are alredy baptised but have not received the Sacrament of Confirmation. All 10 will receive their sacraments at St Joseph's Church, Ave Hoche, during the Easter Vigil. One of these 10 comes from China, another from Hong Kong, four from North America and one from South America, one from Parkistan, one from Nigeria and one from South Africa.
Already, two applicants to prepare for Baptism at Easter 2013 have enrolled for next year's course. At a difficult time for the church, this is a shoot of hope.                                                         A T

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Hope and Healing Conference 18th February 2012

Was honoured to be a participant and speaker at this conference last Saturday. There were over 200 delegates present and it was great to meet so many brave and wonderful people.These people give me hope and from them I learn that healing is possible. Thank you to each one present. Congratulations to the organisers and they deserve great credit for bringing together such an array of people. The Lough Erne Resort as a venue was superb. To think that I started my journey in the Passionists a mile or so away at The Graan Monastery! Conditions were a bit different, especially when getting up at 2 a.m. for night Matins. A T

Monday, 13 February 2012

Six Nations Rugby

What a disappointment or stronger! It was always going to be a risk playing a game starting at 9 p.m. After the week of near Artic conditions in Paris, surface heating the pitch for hours before the game just gave the frost and ice a better chance!
Sitting in the Stade and finding out the game was off from phone texts was also interesting. Still, nobody forced us to go there and I know some Irish who live here in Paris who decided the game would not happen. How right they were. Now for the rematch.                                                          A T

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Lá Fhéile Bríd

First day of Spring in Ireland! Spring may be in the air but so also is ice and snow. Still, we are out of January and the days are stretching that bit each day. In Paris, it is cold and bright and due to get colder. As a sign of my continuing madness, I went for a long jog on Monday night. It was terribly cold as I set out. But an hour later as I neared my starting point again, I was perspiring (sweating in non PC terms!)
Hope by 11 February the weather will have warmed up again. At 9 p.m. that night France and Ireland face each other in 6-Nations Rugby. For most people that starting time is fine. For me the next day, Sunday, is a working day! Anyway, I will be there and can only hope that the right tricolour wins. A T

Thursday, 19 January 2012

A Ray of Hope

At a time when a lot of sadness surrounds the Catholic Church, a ray of hope has been to walk each year with people who ask to come into the Catholic Church. In the parish of St Joseph, Paris, where I serve, there are 10 adults this year in the classes for Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults (RCIA). Each year since 2008 I have made some great friends among those people who inspire me by their faith and courage at this time of disillusionment with institutions. To each one of you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. You may never know how much you  have done to help me keep going. A T

Friday, 13 January 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Afraid I have neglected the blog for some time - mea culpa! Into my fourth year at St Joseph's, Paris.
How time flies - when you're getting old! Provincial Chapter of the Passionists to be held in Larne, Co. Antrim in mid-May this year. After that, the superiors will either assign me here in Paris for another four years or send me packing elsewhere! Do I have a say in this matter? In theory, yes. In fact, no. In 2008 the superiors listened to me for over an hour and then phoned me on my mobile to ask me to be in Paris by 28th September 2008 - even though this beautiful City and wonderful parish had never been mentioned or suggested. So, as I say - wait and see and watch this space.
Busy year ahead with 25th Anniversary of new building at St Joseph's (original building 1869) taking place in May this year. There is so much for which to thank God and many people in this great and varied community. There will be First Communions and Confirmations in May also. 10 Adults will receive the Sacraments of Initiation at the Easter Vigil at St Joseph's (7th April 2012). These great people are enrolled in the RCIA (rite of Christian initiation of adults). I look forward to our Thursday night sessions together with real joy. Enough for one post! Talk soon again. A T