REFLECTIONS
Father Ted Kennedy
St Vincent's Redfern 1971 - 2002
 
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A compilation of reflections by Community members presented to Ted Kennedy on his retirement as parish priest of the St Vincent's Catholic Church in the inner Sydney suburb of Redfern.
 
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FATHER TED KENNEDY

When I was at school, the Mercy nuns and the Christian Brothers used to make much of how Jesus came to save us by suffering and dying on the Cross and, in this way, repaying to a seemingly insatiable God the Father, the debt of Original sin. I wondered even then about this, after all I had nothing to do with Adam and Eve disobeying God in the Garden of Eden and I certainly didn't ask Jesus to die a horrible death for me to somehow make it all okay.

When I started going to Mass at Redfern, Ted didn't talk much about sin - Original or any other kind. When he did mention it, it was usually in terms of people oppressing the poor and disadvantaged and denying them and others their rights and freedoms. Baptism, I was always told, cleansed my soul of Original sin. Ted said that when John the Baptist plunged Jesus into the River Jordan 2000 years ago, he was tumbled and turned and, when he emerged from the turbulent waters, stood in a different place and, therefore, looked at things from a different point of view. These (and so many other) beautiful interpretations had a real ring of truth about them and made so much sense to me.

I thank Ted for opening my eyes to the true message of the Gospel.


by Terry Salmon
 

 

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