many memories and reflections come crowding in as they
have for everyone else, no doubt; the following are
a few random ones:
at Redfern (St Vincent’s) for
the first time was like coming home. I loved the "place"
for being raw, earthy, sparse. I loved its gutsy Word,
and its liberating unpredictability. I both loved and
hated its dis-comforting challenges. I marvelled at
spirituality. Thrilling at being introduced to Aboriginal
spirituality via Ted's experiences, convictions and
Noting how easily women took an equal participatory
Wanting to listen to the people &n their announcements
– new joy & inspiration.
Joining Faster ceremonies preceded by the cleansing
smoking fire, and a wonderful Eucharist at Barbara's
in Forbes Street
with Father Doug (and Uncle Leo's famous damper bread!)
Sensing real personal connections: after we were married
at St Vincent's, Frank invited
everyone to come to a reception at Maureen Flood's place,
and the whole Community immediately burst into a cheer.
- crowding-in for coffee after Mass in the "four-person"
tables of the milk-bar down the street.
Leo - sitting in the same place at the end of the seat
each week - with his hat., which was finally seen on
top of his coffin so proudly carried by who-knows-how-many-Koori-men.
- serving as altar boy (with Vernon
and Ken); he was too small to see over the altar so
he just hung on and peeped over.
- promenading in a different set of clothes each time
one saw him, and making naturally aristocratic entrances.
- singing exquisitely, accompanied or unaccompanied.
Shirl and a chocker-block car of kids - dropping them
home after Sunday Mass and the regular stop-off at the
- getting & giving the Kiss of Peace. Many will
remember our much-loved and accepted, “very regular
attendee” for whom Frank gave a beautiful, befitting
Eulogy; she was part of the Creation spirituality of
the place. & often “sang” ooooooOOOOooooo for the
children after Mass.
She was also happy to give one of their pups a ride
on her back, (to the quiet delight of the greatly-respected
Sir William and Lady Deane, present that day). Mum Shirl
called her the “merrigun who is just so well-behaved”.
wonder is to belong in the melting pot of this community
- a far-reaching "church" which has no walls. Even if
one does not see others for some time, there is immediate
recognition that the friendship which drew and holds
one to the community is always there. There is plenty
of place, space, and room - for one, and for all.
by Clare Maguire