It must be my age! Time passes so quickly. The summer seems to be just begun and then it is over. For most of the month of August, the city of Paris seemed to be 'empty' except for the many tourists. They add so much to the city during the time that many of the locals are away. There were few cars parked in the street in front of the church where it is normally hard to find a space. All that has now changed during the past week, as people returned and shops and businesses opened again. With schools reopening on Monday it will be back to business as usual. Still, there is a great buzz around the city. This afternoon I was in Notre Dame Cathedral for a while and it was thronged with people. It is estimated that 14 million people visit the Cathedral each year. It is a magnificent place of historical interest and a busy and functioning church with regular Masses, Confessions, Evening Prayer and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. Over the years I have been privileged to preach there a few times. Security of bag searches when entering continues following sad events of recent years in Paris.
Last weekend the Papal Visit and all that went with that occasion. This weekend, Tyrone taking on the Dubs. I would like to have been in Dublin last weekend and also this weekend! What a delight it is to be in Croke Park on All Ireland Day - both Hurling and Football. At risk of tempting fate - the Dubs will keep Sam for at least another winter. Though I am a native of Co Wicklow, my support for the Dubs goes back to my childhood. If Wicklow were ever to get to an All Ireland Final against the Dubs, I don't know what I would do. Somehow, I don't see that arising any time soon.
I'm still 'home alone' as the only Passionist assigned to St Joseph's. Prayers are being offered by parishioners, and by me, that soon another priest will be assigned. It is tough on the people coming to Mass and having me each time, except for the rare occasions when a visiting priest offers one of the five weekend Masses. It is with a sense of real gratitude that I have the strength to continue fulfilling some service to the approximately 2,000 people who enter the church on a weekend.
With these few words, I'll leave you in peace. But be warned - I'll be back soon again! AT