Sunday 24 May Reflection from Monsignor Tony Doherty

24 May 2020
Image: Francesco Paggiaro from Pexels.


A retired priest from the Archdiocese of Sydney has chosen to start recording weekly reflections on the Gospel.

Monsignor Tony Doherty has started a series of reflections called “Breaking Bread Together” on a personal YouTube channel.

The reflections were designed for parishioners of St Joseph’s Neutral Bay, part of the Parishes of Sydney Harbour North, but he warmly welcomes those outside of the parish to the video.


May 27 is the anniversary of the death of Brian Doyle of Portland Oregon. The blithest of spirits, occasional visitor to these shores, and an essayist with an intoxicating style and language which I couldn’t get enough of,who wrote prayers as essays or essays as prayers – I could never work out which was which.

On the notice of his death three years ago at the age of 60 a reviewer wrote: “I am having a hard time realizing that somewhere in Portland, Doyle is not writing any more sentences that swing and sing and bounce along the page with rollicking musicality.”

2020 is also the 20 year anniversary of Cathy Freeman at the Sydney Olympics, which provides just enough reason to share with you a prayer my friend Brian Doyle once wrote about Freeman.


Prayer for Catherine Astrid Salome Freeman of Queensland, Australia.

Because your parents divorced when you were five years old.

Because you sister died when your were eighteen.

Because your brother died not long after that.

Because the First Peoples of your country were hunted and shot and massacred by people who stole their land and their livelihood and their dignity, and you were one of them, but you would not accept the loss, and used the gifts the One gave you to win races, and run like the breeze through the bushland, and speak clearly and honestly and bluntly your opinions of mistreatment of First Peoples.

Because you had the gall and temerity and the courage and the roaring insistence on justice and free speech to carry not only the flag of your native country but also the flag of your broken and scattered people when you won your Olympic gold medal, and there were millions of people who watched that moment, weeping with admiration and some deep wriggle of awe, and I am among them, Cathy Freeman.

So a prayer for you and your children and your people, that they will ever be in the light of the Imagination that made all things; and my thanks that you are among those things, and I was granted the eyes to see your grace and heart.

And so, amen.

Book of Uncommon Prayer. Brian Doyle. Sorin Books. Notre Dame, Indiana, 2014.


The reflection on the Feast of the Ascension below is about ‘letting go’- its pain and its power.

Just click on the link below. And if there is any friend who you feel would like to share this please feel free to forward it to them








To follow Msgr Doherty’s reflections, visit his YouTube channel –


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