Muhammad Ali: “Who’s he?” asked the Harlem schoolkids

(AP photo above of Heavyweight champion Muhammad Ali standing over Sonny Liston) Muhammad Ali was a hero of mine, even though I grew up in a white Philadelphia neighbourhood bordering on a black one where you were called a “n....er lover,” if you sympathised with African Americans. Racism was rife in Philly. My crime was … Continue reading Muhammad Ali: “Who’s he?” asked the Harlem schoolkids

From the City of Flowers to the City of Light: You can’t break our spirits

“You can break our hearts, but you can’t break our spirits, I think that’s what Sydney showed on that day.” That was the New South Wales Premier, Mike Baird, speaking today on the first anniversary of the Lindt Café Siege when the Iranian refugee and gunman, Man Horan Monis, held 18 people hostage for 17 … Continue reading From the City of Flowers to the City of Light: You can’t break our spirits

Food for a Journey: Poems and prayers and memories of a renaissance man

I have written many book reviews over the decades, but this one means a lot to me. It’s about a book of poetry by my cousin – a friend, a former priest, an editor of an acclaimed Jesuit magazine, America, an appellate attorney in the Criminal Division of the US Department of Justice fighting for … Continue reading Food for a Journey: Poems and prayers and memories of a renaissance man

Are you okay, Buddy? It’s not a crime to say you need help

Depressed. Feeling down. In the dumps. Bitten by the Black Dog. Beyond Blue. All the phrases and words above have been associated with depression. I have been thinking about depression for some time, as my brother Jack committed suicide 24 years ago in September 1991, and I have been asking why ever since. I know … Continue reading Are you okay, Buddy? It’s not a crime to say you need help