When I first met you Ted, almost 20 years ago, I was immediately struck by the significance of what you had to say and the integrity of your life. Never before were Christ’s words so lucid and alive.
Ted, I will always treasure your friendship and our time together, particularly when you came to Ireland with Kathleen and me in 1996. You opened our eyes and hearts to so much – the terrible injustices inflicted upon our Aboriginal brothers and sisters and the riches of a free and open heart. You quietly invited us to join you on your journey and it has been a journey stripped of rules and dogma, with large spaces for the many people for whom there is no room at the Inn. With integrity and grace, you offered us the challenge to be more fully human and you filled our lives with people requiring of us that we personally face that challenge. In your insistence that we love and care for one another, you have been at once demanding, subversive and understanding.
Mum Shirl always spoke at the end of Mass, each time as if to a new audience. It often went something like this:
"I am an MRC – Mad Roman Catholic. This man here, he is Father Ted Kennedy and next to St Martin de Porres and Jesus Christ himself, he is the greatest man that ever walked this earth".
I am in the company of a great multitude when I say I love Ted Kennedy.