Sunday, 22 December 2013

Paris at Christmas

A familiar sight these days is to see many people with cases, bags and all sort of luggage heading home for Christmas. Bon voyage to each! Equally, a lot of people have arrived into Paris to spend time with family and friends. At St Joseph's Church this morning I met people who are visiting from Australia, Africa, U.S.A. and a few other places including Ireland! Great season of the year.      A.T.

Saturday, 21 December 2013

A Few Days to Go

Christmas is just around the corner. A lot of people leaving Paris this weekend at this holiday time. Some visitors arriving to be with family living in Paris. Some enjoyable parties these days. A lot of church events lie ahead during next few days. Over past few weeks people often ask us priests will we be going away for Christmas. This not just a Paris thing. It somehow would seem logical to me to assume that all of us will be needed at possibly the busiest time of the year in our line of service. Maybe I'm missing something or just don't get why this question is asked almost everywhere I have ever served. Some wise person may be able to enlighten me.
A Happy Christmas to you and yours.          A.T.

Friday, 20 December 2013


Today is the last day of school at Marymount where I serve as chaplain. It was great celebrating Mass for the school at 9 a.m. this morning in Eglise St Jacques. The joy and excitment were palpable. Hope all have a safe and happy Christmas.               A.T.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Christmas 2013

19th December 1970 was ordained a priest at St Patrick's Teacher Training College, Dublin. That is 43 years ago. What a changed world and church now. Am gearing up for Christmas.        A.T

Monday, 16 December 2013

Happy Christmas 2013

Got the Christmas cards away at the weekend. A great relief to have done. If you don't get a card from me please accept this word of greeting. Will also send a few greetings by email and in person. Great Carol Service at St Joseph's, Paris, yesterday. School Mass tomorrow in Marymount School.

Friday, 6 December 2013

Nelson Mandela, R.I.P.

The World has lost a great human being. May he now rest in peace.
John the Baptist was a voice crying in the wilderness. So was Nelson Mandela.
Neither could be silenced. My best tribute to Nelson Mandela is to keep on the
long walk to justice and peace where I am able. Voices of true prophets do not
fall silent. They go on echoing down the centuries. John the Baptist was beheaded.
His message of the need to repent is still being heard. God bless all the people of South
Africa at this time of loss and may their and our hope never die.                     AT

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Christmas 2013

Putting together a few thoughts for preaching this weekend. It is moving so close to Christmas and at such a rate! Not one Christmas card have I yet sent but I'll start soon. Reading at present  Pope's Exhortation called 'Evangelii Gaudium' in which he sets out his hopes and dreams. It is a good, if long, read. Delighted to have had a few jogs recently. Paris is good Place for jogging - a lot of level streets. Back to sermon writing!                       A.T.

Sunday, 1 December 2013

Web site

Good news is that www.stjoeparis website is up and running again.
Many thanks to Bruno Valdes for his great word. I'll be back again soon.

Friday, 29 November 2013


Since end of September the Parish website has been out of action due to being "hacked" into. Now it is almost fully operational again - the link to this blog is yet to be put back on the site. I have missed being in contact with my 2 followers and the occasional viewer! Will update events as soon as the link is restored. Thank you for reading this and hope to be back again soon.                A.T.

Friday, 27 September 2013


Since yesterday morning the St Joseph's website has not been accessible. Great efforts are being made to find the cause of this with the hope of being back with you soon. No time is a good time for this to happen, but this Sunday is the parish Information Day when parishioners have been told that all the new and instructions will be on the website. Apologies for this break in service.     AT

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Sunny Day

Paris today looked glorious - bright, lovely colours and people seemed in good form. Going to school tomorrow where I serve as a chaplain. School soon to mark 90 years in existence. More about this anon. Well, off to sleep now as 6.30 am comes quickly.       AT  

Monday, 23 September 2013

September 23 September 2013

Sam is back in the Capital. It was great being able to see the game live . Yesterday I said a few words in the sermons at the Masses yesterday on the Interview Pope Francis gave to Jesuit magazines on three days in August. It is a long interview with La Civiltà Cattolica and covers a lot of topics. There was a positive reaction as people left Mass yesterday.
Sad to hear of the attacks around the world - Nairobi shopping centre and Church in Pakistan as people left Mass. Working for true and lasting peace remains truly urgent.                  AT

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Mr Samuel Maguire (a.k.a. Sam Maguire Cup)

Now I know that I will not be in Croke Park tomorrow for Mayo and Dublin to play it out for Sam.
Also, I hope there will be no more of the 'folksy religion' to come by which the Archbishop of a major Western Diocese (begins with T)  gives his episcopal blessing and a priest somewhere else is working to lift the 'curse of Mayo' that has stopped them lifting Sam for decades. Somehow, I suspect that + Diarmuid Martin of Dublin will not go down that road! Unless there is an emergency here in Paris, I am so looking forward to tomorrow afternoon at 4.30 p.m. (3.30 p.m. Croke Park time) and hope to see a great game. Not being into the 'folksy religion' I won't be praying or blessing either team but simply saying may all have a safe journey there and back and may the best team win!    AT

Friday, 20 September 2013

What a difference an Interview makes!

Yes, that interview by Pope Francis to Jesuit magazines. He gave it on 19th August in Italian and five International Translators have put it into English. I'm wading through the Italian original version and it gets better and better. Of course, the Pope has not changed any doctrine and God is still in charge. But he has given hope and dispelled a lot of fear and alienation. God knows we need these after the awful history of lack of church leadership amid horrific clerical sexual abuse in recent years. There are some people I have spoken to today who are upset by the Pope's remarks. That is their right and nobody should silence these voices. It is not my own view. Today I am beginning to believe again that it is possible to see a time coming when the dark cloud of sin and shame may begin to lift. Damage done can never be undone. But, there are so many good people who still want their church to be a sign of the Kingdom of God that they deserve the type of leadership Pope Francis is giving and which in turn will inspire the rest of us. Today just outside Paris I was in a school where I am chaplain. At a time of prayer with some teachers it was wonderful to hear people pray for the Bishop of Rome. Sleep well - I know I will rest a little easier because of that Interview!             AT

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Grey, Wet Day in Paris

An email from Dublin today told of a 'mini heatwave'. Enjoy it. It has been wet and grey in Paris all day. Very Irish to begin with the weather. Even a few days away leave a bit of catching up to be done. Spent a while composing the Parish Bulletin - you can read it weekly on
It is a bit time consuming but I love the varied and frequent comments I get from various parts of the world. Of course, there are so many websites and so much information that I'm greatly encouraged with any reaction to the Bulletin. Champions league going strong again and Sam Maguire getting polished for a return to Dublin on Sunday afternoon - just wish I could be there but TV is great to have at such times. In mid-1980's I remember getting up at the crack of dawn to go to a Hall in San Francisco to see the All Ireland on a big screen. Maybe it will end a draw and I might be able to get to the replay - grasping at straws! I know I am from Co Wicklow - but come on, do you expect me to wait for the Garden of Ireland to grace Croke Park on All Ireland day in my life time? I will see that game from the afterlife methinks!                       AT

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Paris Again

Had a lovely visit to Belfast and Crossgar, Co Down. Getting there on Saturday evening was a bit of a saga but I'll spare you the details. Instead of being on the ground at 9.15 p.m. at Belfast City Airport on Saturday evening, I landed on Sunday morning at Belfast International Airport at 12.30 a.m. In fairness, I did got compensation for the over three hour delay of the flight from Heathrow - a £10 food voucher from British Airways.
The Mass on Sunday in Holy Cross Church, Belfast, when a Passionist Student professed final vows was a lovely occasion. This was the first student of the Passionists in Ireland or Scotland in over 20 years to join as a new member. It was lovely being back in Holy Cross where I spent seven such happy years among great people. I went to see the camp of protesters at the Twadell corner of the roundabout. I just wish some way could be found to help end this protest for the sake of those who are spending cold and wet days there. I know it is their choice but surely we are capable of doing something to bring an end to this. If we can't, what chance for Syria returning to peace where the urgency and the tragedy is so much greater?
Back in Paris and catching up on bits and pieces.                   AT

Friday, 13 September 2013

Friday 13th September 2013

No, I am not superstitious about the number 13 or a Friday which falls on that date.
But, I must agree that a Flight 666 to Hel (Helsinki) on Fri 13 does taking some beating!
You will fine the 666 reference in the Book of the Apocalypse at the end of the New Testament.
Tomorrow I'm due to fly to Belfast with British Airways. I'm going over to attend the Final Profession of vows by a Passionist Student - the first one in Ireland/Scotland to do so in almost 25 years. On Monday I will attend a Passionist Province meeting in Crossgar and back to Paris on Tues.
Will be back writing for the Blog after Tuesday next week.             AT

The Times They Are (may be) A Changing!

On way back this morning from the school where I serve as chaplain, a headline on 'Le Figaro' daily paper caught my eye - 'Marriage of Priests - The Vatican launches a debate'. Going to page 9 I find it reported that shortly after his election, Pope Francis declared himself "in favour of mainaining clerical celebacy". The paper asks, then why raise the quesiton now? Well, in an interview in a Venezuelan paper, El Universal, Monsignor Pietro Parolin, Papal Nuncio, raised this possibility. This takes on a significance when we realise that Mgr Parolin on 15th October 2013 becomes the right hand man of the Pope as Vatican Secretary of State. Interesting. Either this is an interestng development or we will read of a 'clarification' from Mgr Parolin. Watch this space. Being a member of a religious congregation, the rule of celebacy affects us differently. On a personal level, it has all come too late for me - too old and ugly by now!                        AT

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Third day in succession of posts!

Grey and cool this Thursday morning in Paris. Hope it is not Winter setting in - if it is, it will be a long Winter. Maybe it will get better before September is out. It is very Irish to start with the weather! Maybe on radio and T.V. news bulletins should start rather than end with the weather forecast. Today I look forward to meeting people from Graigcullen, Co Carlow, who are visiting Paris. Back on 22nd April I was delighted to preach one night of the Parish Novena there. The warmth of the welcome and the enthusiasm of all I met did me a power of good. The Poor Clare Monastery in the church grounds is a great witness to prayer. Better go now or I'll miss meeting the visitors.   AT

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Back Again

Yesterday I said I would keep my blog going  better this time. Just thinking on this grey morning in Paris how different my life is since coming here from Belfast. It is more being like a 'worker priest' that the French church developed many years ago. Getting your hands dirty as well as keeping them clean for Liturgy is part of the life here.I'm just back from doing the lodgement of the Sunday collection - faithfully counted by a young parishioner who is an accountant with small children. Down the street I set with my trolley(like an old-age pensioner, which I am!) and hand over the bags of coin and deposit the cheques and notes. People are generous and that includes the many people in the congregation who struggle to make ends meet. Later today I will drive out of Paris to a wholesale place to do the shopping. With my flat  back trolley I will move along the aisles to fill it up with supplies for the church and the Passionist community. In between times, I take a look over the church toilets to see all is in order. A bit of sweeping of leaves, papers, cigarette butts (what smokers from the offices around us!)  Opening and locking the church and replacing bulbs takes another little bit of the day. But it is good as it keeps me grounded. Off now to collect the post arriving and to shop....! AT

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Back Again after a Long Silence

Greetings from Paris!
Last weekend I baptised Ciara from Dublin in Paris. Her mother asked had I given up my blog as she liked reading it (God Bless her!) So, here goes.
Am going to Holy Cross on Sunday for Garreth's Final Profession as a Passionist at 12 noon Mass - our first finally professed student in almost 25 years in Ireland. Looking forward to being back in Belfast and hope to meet up with people who will always hold a special place in my heart.
Warning: I will write regularly! You can read me each week on also on Facebook and Twitter. For now, AT