Dark Skies For A Bishop

This is a good thing for Chris Toohey, the bishop of Wilcannia-Forbes, covering the western half of the Australian state of New South Wales.

(O)n his first night in town, the new bishop was strolling back to his accommodation when he glanced up.

“I thought, ‘My goodness, look at that sky.’ “

Stretched out from horizon to horizon were the stars of the Milky Way. The view left the bishop, who has had a passion for astronomy since his childhood, breathless. “I didn’t really expect to see that from inside the town.”

When he’s on the road for serving his rural diocese, he often packs a telescope in the car, hoping to catch some night sights. He has a collection of twelve instruments, including the telescope he acquired at age thirteen–his first. Astronomer John Sarkissian has a high regard for Bishop Toohey:

(He is) one of the most respected visual planetary observers in Australia

There is nothing he doesn’t know about the visual appearance of the major planets …

By sitting at the eyepiece carefully observing the planets he is often able to see features that others miss or overlook. His drawings are incredibly beautiful and detailed. It is clear that he loves what he does.

Image credit and quotes from CathNews Australia.

About catholicsensibility

Todd lives in Minnesota, serving a Catholic parish as a lay minister.
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