I was gathering my thoughts to compose an introduction
to my reflection on Fr Ted and St
Redfern, two things struck me in regard to the simple
title of this piece that I had just written.
- How often do we mention Ted's surname, or even his
title "Father"? Our traditional way of addressing him
is "Ted" or "Fr Ted". I would think that this is a very
natural instinct and indication of the intimacy of our
relationship with him, of his attitude for a “fair go”
for all of us, and a sense of being comfortable in his
- Most Catholic Christian churches are called "parishes".
I have never heard of Redfern being referred to as a
“parish'. All of us, black and white, rich and poor,
catholic or otherwise, intelligent or dull, sane or
insane, gay or straight, or “anything else” - we are
all welcome in this Community.
my experience of "Redfern" is only over the past six
years and so my actual association with Ted is probably
not so close as many others in the community. However,
his spirit, vision and influence is so strong that it
has a life of its own, and will continue to do so for
many years to come. Somehow Ted has given the people
of Redfern the freedom to belong in whatever capacity
is theirs to become, and for whatever reason they have
found themselves committed to the ethos of Redfern.
I have been touched by his graciousness and respect
of me, and all who belong to the community.
own personal contribution to the community is one of
compassion and creativity. Fr Ted has always encouraged
me in who I am and what I have to give. It always amazes
me that he remembers me, knows me, and calls me by name
each time I see him, and yet probably I am one of the
few in the community who has not spent a lot of time
personally with him. Actually, there are very many people
who have told me that they also appreciate this quality
in Ted. To me it seems that the foundations laid by
Ted, through his compassion, great scholarship, passion
for the underdog, his humanity, and most of all his
love of our Aboriginal brothers and sisters, and his
faith and love of God, are all wrapped up together to
give our Community its life-force, and great determination
in issues local and abroad of Justice and Peace based
on the teachings of Jesus.
Ted, I am very grateful to be able to come to a Church
where there is a large amount of freedom to consider
and to be involved in real issues, of real people, in
the present moment - to meet and feel Jesus in this
21st Century. By the grace of God we will be faithful
to the gift of your spirit in Redfern. You already know
that we are putting in a pretty good effort, and, our
hope is to fulfil the dreams you have had for this Community
over many years.
of the running wave to you
of the flowing air to you
of the quiet earth to you
of the shining stars to you
of the gentle night to you
and stars pour out
their healing light to you
peace to you.
love and gratitude
by Leonie Martin, RSM