is often the case, the philosophy comes before the philosopher.
If the thoughts and words and actions of the person
are such that they touch the very essence of our conscience
and spirit, then we are led to seek the source of the
wisdom. If we see around us people living the philosophy
and sharing the great gifts of God's presence in their
lives, then we are drawn closer by their example to
the source of the inspiration.
we are seeking answers to questions that disturb us
about our own and the human condition and we cannot
release ourselves from prejudice or pride or self, we
look for inspiration from the Spirit. With His guidance
we are led to people and communities that hold the key
to interpreting the gospels and their relevance in a
world advanced two thousand years from their inspiration.
was my experience with Redfern. I was seeking answers
to the problem of Aboriginal reconciliation and my part
in the process. I was seeking answers on how to be a
working Christian without the trappings of the conventions
that bound me and confronted me and sometimes offended
me. I had a need to celebrate God's love and sacrifice
as a personal and ongoing experience in my life. Through
the auspices of good friends, I was led to St
Redfern, the source of a great, living and liveable
conscience that surrounded me and lifted and inspired
that time, Ted Kennedy was only “doing” mass once a
month. I missed him the first time around but I was
becoming aware of him and what the Redfern community
was all about. I could not believe the love and compassion
that resonated within the walls of that old church.
The Spirit moved freely amongst the congregation and
everyone seemed to be touched by a special caring for
others. I wanted to be part of this community and share
the special intimacy that I have with Christ.
I first met Ted, it was somewhat of an anticlimax -
shorts, slippers, a worn stole and a fragile body. Could
this be the man of the legend? He greeted me, seated
on an old vinyl chair with a makeshift altar in front
of him and a decidedly dishevelled look about him. He
offered his hand to me and I felt the warmth and strength
of the man. It was then that I realised that he was
the simple man behind the philosophy - that we should
treat others with kindness, love, understanding and
compassion. Not judging but loving each other as we
want to be loved and most of all, sharing and giving
of what we have above and often beyond our means.
love and caring of our special catholic community is
a tribute to Ted Kennedy - a contemporary of Mum Shirl,
the author of mind the opening book, Who
is Worthy?, a good and inclusive
pastor to his parish for thirty or so years and an inspiration
for the future.
salute Ted Kennedy - a man of conviction and action.
He has lived his life as he has interpreted the scriptures
and we are all much the better for it. His philosophies
will keep us strong, long after he leaves us.
by Alan Hockey