The marriage of Joseph and Mary

Super Flumina

under the patronage of St Joseph and St Dominic

By the rivers of Babylon there we sat and wept, remembering Zion;
on the poplars that grew there we hung up our harps. . . Ps 136

St Dominic


Philosophy behind this website

Professor Solomon's Introduction to Philosophy

11th September 2001


Australia's Catholic Bishops

Australian Catholic Bishops should say

Australia's Support for Legislation Worthy of Adolf Hitler


Bill of Rights




Church's Fathers & Doctors

Church's Teaching on Divorce, Contraception and Human Sexuality

Compatible sites


David Attenborough

Defamation of Catholicism

Discipline & the Child

Dismissal of the Whitlam Government

Economic Problems

Evangelium Vitae 73



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God is not Material

Harry Potter



Letter of St Paul to the Hebrews

Mary MacKillop

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Research Involving Embryos Bill - Letter to the Prime Minister

Sts John Fisher & Thomas More

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Subversion of Catholic Education


Thomas Merton

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For young readers:

Myall Lakes Adventure

© 2006 Website by Netvantage



“I caught this morning morning’s minion, kingdom of daylight’s dauphin,
dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon in his riding
       Of the rolling level underneath him steady air and striding…”[1]

Whenever I arrive home at my cottage on the left bank of the Wollondilly River near Goulburn after the sun has set, I approach the high steel barn where I garage the car with headlights dimmed.  I leave the vehicle quietly by the back entrance and circle the building to head down the hill to the cottage.  But before doing so I shine my torch at the inside of the gable above the barn’s front entrance.  There, perched patiently awaiting the morning, is a small falcon of the species which in Australia we call the Nankeen Kestrel.

We have established, this bird and I, a modus vivendi: I don’t disturb his rest and he tolerates my occasional intrusions.

On every continent in the world there is a falcon that corresponds to this marvellous bird, capable in any wind up to 25 knots of remaining in the air on station, motionless, as it searches the ground for prey.  The facility which takes man millions of hours of study and work to achieve in some noisy metallic contraption, this bird achieves naturally within days of fledging—

    “…the hurl and the gliding
    Rebuffed the big wind.  My heart in hiding
Stirred for a bird—the achieve of, the mastery of the thing!”

There is a lesson here for those prepared to read it, those diligent in resisting the temptation to harden their hearts against reality.  The materialist Richard Dawkins is wont to refer to some aircraft as ‘a miracle’: he is a fool.  No aircraft is anything but a clumsy imitation of reality.  The miracle is the falcon that hovers over his field.

How fitting that Gerard Manley Hopkins should have dedicated his poem on the falcon to its creator, the Son of God, Christ Our Lord.


Michael Baker
21 January 2010—St Agnes, Virgin and Martyr

[1]   Gerard Manley Hopkins, The Windhover; May 30th 1877.  Hopkins described the poem in 1879 as “the best thing I ever wrote.”  As a note on the poet’s expression the reader might consider the Dauphin’s praise of his horse in Shakespeare’s Henry V: ‘le cheval volant, the Pegasus, qui a les narines de feu!  When I bestride him I soar, I am a hawk; he trots the air...’ [Act III, vii, line 11]