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.