Saturday, 28 November 2015

COP21 at Le Bourget

The world conference on Climate opens this weekend in Paris. The local papers are alerting all to the disruption of traffic around the city. In the wake of 13th November attacks there is great concern to ensure that all will go without incident. Please God that will be the case. 

Yesterday evening I did a piece on France 24 for their 6 p.m. News about Pope Francis' visit to Africa. WIth only a few hours notice, I really enjoyed reading the addresses the Pope gave in Kenya and on arrival in Uganda. He has a great way of saying very important things in a very simple but graphic way. One example - when visiting a very poor district on outskirts of Nairobi, he reflected on what the people lacked by way of clean water, sanitation and other basics that I take for granted. Then he spoke to the people of their richness in love and care for their families and their community. He said that these were valuable but would never be quoted on the Stock Exchange. They are priceless! Sunday he goes to Central African Republic where there has been serious unrest for some time. When asked on the flight from Rome to Nairobi if he was afraid for his safety, he replied that he was not but that he was afraid of the mosquitoes!

Last Thursday was American Thanksgiving and I was delighted to go to Marymount School Paris for a lovely meal that evening. I am so fortunate.

Advent begins this weekend - Christmas must be just around the corner.  A.T.     

Sunday, 15 November 2015

Paris this weekend

It is still hard to comprehend the enormity of the events of Friday night in Paris. May those who died rest in peace. There are many still in hospital and suffering. May they soon find the way to recovery. The psychological scars will take longer to heal. At this church of St Joseph beside the Arc de Triomphe, people have come out in big numbers to Masses this weekend to be together and to pray. Parents with children who will soon make their First Communion came along to make a retreat even in the midst of such an appalling tragedy. There is one more Mass this Sunday evening at St Joseph's Church. Because of this I cannot take part in the Mass at the same time in Notre Dame as part of the days of national mourning in France. May we all be true workers for peace based on justice. Messages of concern and support have come to St Joseph's from all parts of the world. The Superior General of the Passionist and our Provincials have been in contact. Various media outlets have been keen to know of the situation on the ground here with over forty nationalities in our congregation. The concern of family and friends for peoples' safety shows caring and love.                         A.T.

Monday, 28 September 2015

Dublin on an Autumn evening

Just arrived in Dublin and what a beautiful evening - sun shine, blue sky! Tomorrow attending meeting of Passionists at Mount Argus, Dublin. All going to plan, I hope to be back in Paris tomorrow night. A great Parish Information day at St Joseph's, Paris yesterday - also in sunny weather. The food provided for all who came was superb. Well done to all!       A.T.

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Sam Maguire is home

Not a great game game at Croke Park today. The incessant rain militated against good football. Both Kerry and Dublin did their very best in awful weather conditions. At the final whistle the Dubs just about made it - well done. Tonight after evening Mass I donned my Dubs jersey and track suit and walked the length of the Champs Elyssee to honour Sam coming home. I got a few strange looks but no invitation to raise a glass to Sam. C'est la vie as they say in Kimmage!   A.T.

Saturday, 19 September 2015

Cuba and USA

Prayers are being offered at all Masses in St Joseph's Church, Paris, this weekend as Pope Francis carries the message of the Gospel first to Cuba this weekend and then on to USA. There is a great media interest in France in these visits. Various requests are being received here for comment on the Papal visits. On Tuesday afternoon I have been asked to go on France24 TV to be interviewed on these travels.          A.T.

Sam coming back

In comparison to the posts below on the Northern talks and the plight of Refugees, Croke Park tomorrow is not in the same league.

What a joy, though, it would to be there to see the Dubs lift the Sam Maguire Cup! Still, I am fortunate in that I can get to a TV to see it. 

A great start for Ireland in the Rugby World Cup. What about Japan beating the mighty South Africa! Paris will not be the place to be if Italy follow the example of Japan and beat France!             A.T.

Talks next week

It is not going to be easy next week when talks begin at Stormont. There are huge issues to be resolved if an enduring peace is to be found that will give a future of value to all people there. Anybody who knows and loves the people of N.Ireland can only wish the talks every success and pray that God will open minds and hearts in a way to a better life together. Nobody who has lived in the situation underestimates the challenge facing these talks. My thoughts and prayers are with all people of goodwill who are seeking the way ahead together. By the Good Friday Agreement, perhaps a glimpse of a 'promised land' had appeared. If only people of all religions and none, people of every shade of political outlook could grasp another opportunity before it is too late.        A.T.

Refugees on our doorstep

News just gets worse about what is happening to children, women and men fleeing from war and in many places such as Syria, persecution. Individually some EU governments have been generous to a fault. They have acted in a way filled with care and compassion. But, there is lacking a united, joined-up EU action. Meetings take place - often in the safety of Brussels - but the time for talking is past; now united, co-ordinated action is overdue. It is good to talk the talk. To walk the walk with the refugees is the call. The parishioners here in St Joseph's, Paris have sent €4,000 to the refugees through Secours Catholique Paris. Other groups working with Refugees have been listed at St Joseph's Church and the Diocese in Paris is ready to welcome Refugees who arrive. Marymount School is ready to engage in offering education to those arriving who need it. It is so difficult to know what to do. A few years ago, I wrote a piece in the parish bulletin suggesting that the next St Joseph's Lenten Project should be for the displaced people of Syria who were forced to flee to Lebanon and surrounding countries. Maybe foolishly, I even expressed a desire to personally bring the amount raised to the refugees! The decision on the Lenten Project for that year did not adopt this but chose an excellent other way of helping the most needy of our world. Now I have some idea of what the EXODUS in the Bible must have been like. Let us not undervalue the power of prayer for these people that justice, peace and safety will one day be theirs.    A.T.

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Sam Maguire Cup

There is the old cliche - Kerry for the holidays, Dublin for Sam Maguire!
Well, Dublin saw off Mayo this evening in Croke Park. On 20th September the final showdown takes place. What I wouldn't give to be there - but duty calls. It will be a great occasion and shows how the dedication of amateurs in sport can still produce great achievements and bring enjoyment to people all the over the world who will watch via TV the drama unfold.  A.T.

Friday, 4 September 2015

September Arrives

So Mayo and Dublin must do it all over again tomorrow - this is GAA football in Ireland.

Prayers and efforts are needed for the political situation in North (Ireland) where present issues put progress in peace-buiding in danger. It will take courage and generosity on the part of many to avert a deterioration in the situation. Even though seven years away from Holy Cross, my thoughts and prayers are daily with people of differing politicial oulooks and religions - and none - who don't want a return to the violence of the past. The time I spent in Belfast and also in Ballycastle, Co. Antrim, last month brought home to me what wonderful place it is with great people.

Heartbreaking to see  the many deaths of refugees and the desperate plight of people fleeing war in Syria and destruction. Football pales into insignificance when the tragedies of these people are happening. This weekend at the five Masses in St Joseph's Church, Paris, a collection will be taken to offer even a little help and support for the refugees who can't go back home and are struggling to find a safe haven. Everything collected will go directly and immediately to 'Secours Catholique Paris' that has channels to get help to these sisters and brothers who are part of an 'Exodus' of biblical proportions. It is frightening to know that 8 children are killed every day in Syria as a result of the conflict raging there. A concerned parishioner has prepared a poster for display at St Joseph's Church giving links to NGO organisations who are clothing, feeding and caring medically for people who never thought they would be trapped in this awful situation. The generosity of people, helping organisations and some European Governments show that the evil of those exploiting and terrifying these people will not have the final say. May God give good the victory over evil.       A.T.

Monday, 24 August 2015

Funeral of Fr Brendan McDermott, C.P.

This Monday evening at 7 p.m., Fr. Brendan was brought back to Mount Argus Monastery from the hospital where he died last night. Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. he will be brought to Mount Argus Church where his coffin will rest before the altar overnight. His Requiem Mass will be celebrated on Wednesday morning in Mount at 11.30 a.m. followed by burial in the community cemetery. I regret that due to the funeral taking place so soon I will be unable to travel for it. May Brendan now rest in peace and may all who mourn his loss be comforted by the presence and prayers of those around us.  A.T.

Death of Fr Brendan McDermott, C.P., Mount Argus, Dublin

Father Brendan McDermott, Passionist priest, died at St James Hospital, Dublin on Sunday night. May he rest in peace. He was a member of the Passionist Community of Mount Argus, Dublin 6W, Ireland for many years. He was born in County Donegal on 11th June 1931 and professed religious vows on 15th September 1950. He was ordained on 21st December 1957. He ministered in Scotland as well as Ireland. He was a preacher of many missions and retreats. His funeral arrangements will be posted here when known. Please keep him, his family members and the community of Mount Argus in your prayers at this time of loss. R.I.P.                                  A.T.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

All Ireland

Hate to say "I told you so", but Kerry had the edge today at Croke Park. There will be a lot of post match comments - the weather, the referee, the......... - but the scoreboard at the final whistle tells the story. Next Sunday will belong to the Dubs! If anyone could come up with a ticket for me for the Final on 20 September at Croke Park, you would make one 'exile' (in Paris) so happy. It is a long shot - but who knows? A.T.

First Sunday back

It was good to meet many of the parishioners at Masses on my first Sunday back. Also, there were visitors who introduced themselves. After the sunshine of Ireland last week, torrential rain greeted Paris this morning. It is a good way to keep the dust at bay! The evening Mass still to go when there will be another big congregation of people.
This afternoon I hope to see some of Kerry vs Tyrone from Croke Park. With one priest here at St Joseph's from County Tyrone, I have to be kind in my remarks. But, if I was a gambling person I would put money on Kerry to come out on top. Allowing that Dublin come through next Sunday, what an All Ireland is in prospect for the third Sunday in September!
Schools getting ready to soon open again and I look forward to being back at Marymount School Paris where I serve as chaplain. This is a great community with a diversity of nationalities but a common purpose that 'all may have life and have it to the full.' (John 10.10°
Sad to see many refugees having to flee their own war-torn countries. Also, the foiled attack on the Amsterdam to Paris train last recently could have led to a huge loss of life. Prayer is needed and work for justice and peace.            A.T.

Saturday, 22 August 2015

Weekend in Paris

  • Good to be back! Not that I did not enjoy my visit to Ireland and all the good times. Thanks to family and friends for such great kindness and caring. The 30° today is lovely even though I see that it is due to drop a few ° tomorrow. We Irish love talking about the weather. Coming back reminds me of how many people in this community who care for all that happens here. The stewardship group were in this morning after 11 a.m. Mass to clean and vacuum the Church. The weekly collections were counted and banked. These and so many other jobs are "owned" by parishioners who serve the community. The priests here work alongside the parishioners to offer a fitting place for the multitude of nationalities who find a home from home during their time in Paris. Tourists also find their way to us for Mass. Our next few weeks will be busy as we welcome back families returning for school opening. The baptisms for the first weekend of September will be a big number. This will be followed the next weekend by the beginning again of CCD in preparation for children and young people preparing for Holy Communion and Confirmation. In October there will be RCIA for adults entering the Church and also Marriage Preparation Course. It is a wonderful place to be and to see people who care so much.        A.T.

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Return to Paris

On Thursday it will be off to Dublin Airport to return to Paris. It has been a great break over the past weeks here in Ireland. Last weekend I was visiting Ballycastle, Co. Antrim. It was lovely walking to the Giants Causeway along the headland (about 8Kms) and a further 2Kms to have a wonderful lunch. There was a 'French Connection' in that the weekend was spent with people I have met in Paris. The hospitality was A1 and to all concerned a huge 'thank you'. Before the weekend I played my annual game of golf at Carton Golf Courses. The Irish Rugby squad preparing for the World Cup at present in training camp at Carton. They did not join us for the golf which was good considering my rather low standard of play. Another great day was spent at Dublin Zoo along with my brother and niece who brought along her three children and her brother's three children. So, with six children all under 10 years of age we exlored the wonders of nature and the beauty of God's creatures. My sister took out a visitor's membership for me at her gym. Most mornings begin with a session in the gym, the swimming pool, the steam room and the sauna. Some of this good work is undone later in the day by meals and the occasional(?) pint of Guinness! Amid all the fun, I had a day of meetings at the Passionist Monastery in Dublin. The Provincial and his council (of which I am a member since 2012), met with those preparing the Passionist Provincial Chapter (held every four years). This meeting will be held in Ireland in June 2016. After that, appointments to the communities of St Patrick's Province (including St Joseph's, Paris) will be made - who knows what that will bring! Watch this space.......The website is carrying for the month of August some notices and a weekly reflection on the Readings at Mass. Sincere thanks to those who contact me - especially Sr HMcD - for her words of encouagement. The next printed bulletin will be on 30 August. Looking forward to meeting people at Mass this weekend and thanks to people and priests who do such a wonderful work of service. Enough for now from me and I'm off to read the newspaper on this warm sunny morning. A.T.

Monday, 3 August 2015

Holiday Weekend in Ireland

Dublin saw off Fermanagh in All Ireland 1/4 finals as did Kerry against Kildare. There were over 58,000 attendance at both games. It is a few years since I was in Croke Park - nice to be back. Visited friends after the games and had a most enjoyable evening.   A.T.

Monday, 27 July 2015

Croke Park next Sunday

If anyone would invite me to Croke Park on Sunday next, 2nd August, to see Dublin beat Fermanagh, I will be so grateful! At present I am in Bray on holidays and it would be a great opportunity to see the Dubs again as I will be back in Paris by the time they lift "Sam" in September! Just email me at                           A.T.

Belfast Wedding

Had a most pleasant time at a wedding in Belfast last Friday afternoon. Couple being married were great and the church part and the reception at the hotel both went well. A Belfast daily newspaper, The Irish News, sent a press photographer to take a few pics and put some on the front page and inside the paper on Saturday. It was good to meet again a lot of Ardoyne parishioners whom I knew during seven years I served there before moving to Paris in September 2008. Now I am enjoying a visit to family in Bray and visiting friends in the Dublin area. Weather not as hot as Paris but pleasant. Sorry to miss being at the end of the Tour de France yesterday. Keep in contact with St Joseph's Church notices and a reflection on Sunday Mass readings that I write each week and post on                               A.T.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015


Have just landed in Dublin Airport. On way to a wedding taking place on Friday. It is still a special feeling to land back here. Left a warm Paris for a much cooler Ireland - but no rain! A.T.

Wednesday, 15 July 2015


I really enjoyed yesterday France's Fete Nationale or Bastille Day - 14th July. I wandered around the streets of Paris. There were huge numbers of people, a fly past by planes and helicopters, bands, army, navy and cavalry. There was a big visible police presence as France remains on high alert following the killings in January this year.

It made me sad to see the 12th July scenes on TV of Ardoyne, Belfast where I spent 7 very happy years. The last time I commented on possible ways forward to peace and reconciliation in this area, my suggestions were resented. That said, I still believe that there are enough good people in North Belfast who are better than the scences that have gone around the world.

My prayers are with Phoebe Clawson who was seriously injured by a car driven towards her and others. I hope she makes a full recovery. The family and relatives are in my prayers.

The weather in Paris is glorious these days - over 30 degrees. I love the sunshine and the bit of heat!

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Hioliday Weekend

Bulletin 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time

I have written a piece on the call I believe we all have to be Prophets in our world. Maybe this Holiday time you have more to do than read my 'Ramblings from Paris'. With the Pope in South America, I thought it might be a good time to see what each of us might be able to do in our circle.

Unfortunately, I am not great at technology - find - click on the link, (blue opening page should appear), enter the website (page will be green in colour) and click on 'Reflexions' for 15th Sunday in Ordinary Time. Hope that this does not exhaust you.

Thanks for visiting my Blog and come back soon again.              A.T.

P.S. Sunday Morning Masses are at 10.00 a.m. and 12 Noon
Sunday evening Mass is 6.30 p.m. and Saturday Vigil Mass is at 6.30 p.m.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Summer in Paris

I like summer in Paris. The weather is lovely - some complain about the heat. When I was growing up we used to pray for fine weather and so I always thank God for sunshine. Last week I was in Belfast for meetings and left Aldergrove Airport with the temperature about 22°. In Paris the RER B trains were not going from the airport and so I took the Air France coach which displays the temperature. It was 4O° except when going through tunnels when it was 39°.

Last weekend the summer alteration of Mass times came into operation. Instead of the usual five weekend Masses, for July and August there is one Mass less. It is lovely to meet many visitors to Paris who come to Mass at St Joseph's.

The Paris traffic is less now that schools are closed and some people have left the city for holidays. Using the bicycle to get around the city - which I do almost daily - is far more enjoyable and safer!

Paris is gearing up for next Tuesday, 14th July, Fête National, when the city will be thronged with crowds celebrating Bastille Day. It is a day of great pageantry and colour. The aircraft and helicopters are roaring overhead now as they rehearse for their flight over the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs Elysées. At the same time the city and country remain on high security alert.

By the time France celebrates the 14th July, my hope and prayer is that the 12th July will have passed without trouble. 

A reflection on last Sunday's and this Sunday's Mass readings is posted on the website -

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Paris Disruption

Difficult to get around City of Paris today due to taxi protest blocking roads to airports and rail stations. Similar protests in other parts of France. Tyres have been set alight and school buses disrupted. Threat of air traffic disruption later next week.                       A.T.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

150th Anniversary

Today, 21 June, I was delighted to be among the huge congregation at Mass in Paris to mark the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the Little Sisters of the Assumption. From time to time I am invited to offer Mass in their Generalate in Paris. I first came in contact with these Sisters when they opened a Convent in the grounds of Mount Argus, Dublin. May they celebrate another 150 years!         A.T.

13 Priests to be Ordained in Paris

Every year since being sent to Paris in 2008 I have attended the ordinations in Notre Dame Cathedral. They take place each year on the final Saturday of June. Some years there have been 5 to be ordained while 7 another year. This year there will be 13 to be ordained by Cardinal Vingt-Trois. This is quite a number considering that some Dioceses have few ordinations. May God bless them as they receive the Sacrament of Holy Orders.

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Tradedy in CA

Thoughts and prayers with all affected by the deaths and injuries last night in Berkeley. May they rest in peace and may the families and friends get strength to get through the coming days. No words can capture the enormity of this tragedy. For two years I lived and studied in San Francisco and know and love the Bay area. Tonight at the Irish Embassy in Paris there was a minute's silence in solidarity with all affected by the Californian tragedy. This took place during a Bloomsday celebration hosted by Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nasson and attended by Junior Minister Sean Sherlock. A. Troy

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Soccer Shame

I'll never forget the night in the Stade de France, Paris, when cheating became a million dollar/euro business. What a terrible message to give people trying to live honest lives. AT

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Silence Broken

It is February since I last posted anything on my blog. This happened as much by accident as by design. Lent was busy and since 2012, I have the additional call on my time being part of the Provincial Council of the Passionists. This involves a meeting every month to six weeks in either Dublin or Belfast. Excuses, excuses...........
Last weekend was great here. On Saturday there were 60 children who made their First Communion. The next day, Pentecost, 40 received Confirmation. This weekend there is the annual Summer Fair at St Joseph's. This involves a lot of preparation and planning. The generosity of parishioners who do all this is exceptional. Fine weather is all that is needed now.
The Referendum in Ireland attracted great attention. I was a panel member on France 24 on their 'The Debate' programme last week.
It is my hope to keep the posts on the blog coming at a more regular interval. A.T.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Lent 2015

May this Lent be a "time of grace" (2 Cor 6:2) as highlighted by Pope Francis in His Message for Lent  2015 - well worth a read on
Today, Tuesday, I arrived from Paris to Glasgow about 1 p.m. to meet representatives of the Archdiocese of Glasgow at 3 p.m. along with the Provincial Superior as our Passionist Community there plan the future and make some important adjustments to their present situation. This will, please God, continue into the future the Passionist presence in Scotland and contribute to the mission of the Passionists for the people of Glasgow and all who seek the Lord in the heart of the city.
Because of this meeting and time spent with the Passionist Community, it was not possible to get back to St Joseph''s, Paris tonight. Being the eve of Ash Wednesday, I decided to get back from Glasgow to Heathrow Airport (arrived at 10.00 p.m.) and will get the 7.20 a.m. flight from London to Paris on Ash Wednesday morning. So, tonight I am preparing for Lent by my night vigil in the 'wilderness' of Heathrow by reading, writing and offering a few prayers in Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport. It's an interesting experience and so far, rich in graces. Have a good Lent! A T

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Attacks in Paris

A sad and tragic day in Paris as 12 people are murdered and others seriously injured. May the deceased rest in peace and may their loved ones be surrounded by friends and family. I went to Place de la Republique tonight to be present at a vigil of presence and solidarity. A Day of National Mourning on Thursday will have Mass at 8.30 a.m. at St Joseph's Church to honour the memories of those who died and pray for the injured. At 12 noon St Joseph's Church will welcome all who wish to remember those who died and were injured and to pray for reconciliation and peace.     A.T.

Friday, 2 January 2015

New Year 2015

Happy New Year on this second day of January! Went to Bray on 26th December and got back to Paris in time for the fireworks at Arc de Triomphe for midnight on 31 December. I enjoyed Christmas including the busy days here at Saint Joseph's Church. It seems so recent when there was great excitement waiting for 2000 to arrive. Now we are into the 15th year after of this millennium! One resolution is to try to keep up a more regular attention to this blog!      A.T.