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