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.