An Edinburgh-based priest is in Sydney offering pastoral support following the shopping centre stabbings that saw six people murdered.

Fr Ninian Doohan, of St Patrick's in The Cowgate, was among those on the scene shortly after the attack in Bondi Junction on Saturday 13 April, emerging from Bondi Junction train station minutes after the chaos had taken place, writes The Catholic Weekly.

A delay in catching public transport to go shopping meant he missed the attack at the Westfield Bondi Junction shopping complex by less than 15 minutes, arriving to see a large crowd and emergency response presence.

Parishioners pray and grieve at St Patrick’s Church, Bondi, in the wake of the horrific knife attack. Photo: Patrick Lee/The Catholic Weekly.

Fr Doohan is in the city, where he previously studied at the University of Sydney, as a holiday replacement for the parish priest of St Patrick’s Church in Bondi.

Several members of the congregation wept as he offered words of comfort in his homily at the 10am Sunday Mass.

At least two parishioners knew 38-year-old victim Ashlee Good (below)—the mother of the nine-month-old baby currently recovering from the attack at Sydney Children’s Hospital.

Despite the best attempts of bystanders and doctors to save her life, Good died from her wounds at St Vincent’s Hospital, after pushing her baby into the arms of strangers.

While he felt “totally inadequate to the task” of pastoral support in the face of such horror, Fr Doohan urged the congregation to reach out for support and offered to be available to anyone who wished a pastoral visit.

“The only thing that sounds clear in my mind is that God put me in the close proximity of horror and tragedy so that therefore I can be with one with you, and with them, and not an outsider to it,” he said.

Fr Ninian posted this update on Instagram after the incident.

“I ask that we would all be prepared to ask God for forgiveness and also be prepared to give forgiveness and to participate in his mercy.”

“That challenge to live in and with and through his compassion, even when it is beyond our comprehension and even when injustices have been committed against us.”

The man responsible for the stabbings Joel Cauchi, 40, was shot dead by police at the scene.