thing about St
Parish is that it is not a “parish” which can be understood
as an area within which Catholics living there are served.
Perhaps Redfern is more adequately described as “community',
for a community is a group of people bonded together
with a certain focus. Members are not necessarily connected
do not live in the area, but travel from elsewhere,
attracted to the place in various ways, be it the friendliness
of the community, informality, the heritage of ideals,
convictions, Theology etc. of Ted Kennedy. No doubt;
this church has taken on a character (often quirky)
of its own.
is a magnificent spirit of welcome for the stranger,
for people of any racial background, particularly Aboriginal
people, for any who feel themselves to be on the fringe
of society be they gay, mentally ill, rejected by mainstream
for whatever reason. In a word, Redfern Parish community
aspires not only to hear the Gospel but to live it.
the major characteristic of Redfern is a strong and
ongoing dedication to issues of human rights. Over the
years Ted and the community have fought for Aboriginal
justice as well as other issues eg the plight of Asylum
Seekers under an unsympathetic government, peace in
is a place of loving tolerance. People are accepted
whatever their behaviour. Children (and dogs) have a
freedom which would be frowned upon elsewhere.
is a place of surprises: Anything can happen at any
time. All is treated as “normal”.
is not “churchy”. Needy people have always taken priority
over external perfection.
by Pat Ormesher