Paris is looking a lot like Christmas these days. Schools are winding down and those due to travel have their plans made. People sometimes ask me if I am going home for Christmas. Well, not really, as there are a few Masses to be celebrated, carols to be sung (not by me, thank God), mulled wine to be made (and imbibed), and people of many nationalities to be welcomed. But, on St Stephen's morning I will be on the first Aer Lingus flight from Paris to Dublin. I love arriving into Dublin Aiport at Christmas time - so welcoming and festive. On Thursday after Christmas, I hope to be at Leopardstown Races for the Lexus Chase. This is an annual visit with a great group of people who get together each year for this great day out. Then back at the end of the week for the final Sunday of 2017. New Year's Eve in Paris is exciting and draws crowds onto the streets.
Police and Military have been visiting to check on Mass times over Christmas. This is a reminder that recent attacks have brought about a greater awareness to be alert. My prayer and wish for all people everywhere is that Christmas will be a time of peace not just for a day or two, but the beginning of a year of peace and safety. AT