Father Ted Kennedy
St Vincent's Redfern 1971 - 2002
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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Fr Ted Kennedy

Reflections 1
Reflections 2
Reflections 3
Reflections 4
Reflections 5
Who is Worthy?
Letters from Ted

Mum Shirl

Her story

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Visitors since 12 April 2004
  Church Mouse

I came to Redfern after working in South India and at the Catholic Worker - Dorothy Day - in New York - after hearing of Ted's work from a lady, Prue Powell, who helped along with others such as Liz Williams and Judy Spears in the soup kitchen in the Presbytery at Redfern.

Butch and Ferg had just moved out and Mum Shirl was living with Ted on the second floor of the Presbytery. I wanted to start a C.W. in Sydney. Ted invited me to combine energies with his vision. I was given two weeks probation whereupon Mum Shirl (for Ted Mum Shirl was the Black Governess) and the Presbytery Blacks gave you their approval. I remained till the closure of the Presbytery. I then moved to the Cross. I phoned my Provincial (I was a De la Salle brother at the time) saying I am “with the poor” and I am staying, as a D.L.S. or not. I then moved in with Ted, and Mum Shirl moved out, later to return in residence. This is how I came to Redfern. (We formed a community of workers). I could write a book, but am not a writer but a speaker (Ted's Philosophy - to be with the Poorest of the Poor is to be with Christ or His Father in the Kingdom). When I came to the Presbytery nuns were in the old convent - Sr Ignatius, Sr John and a Mercy nun, Helen, who was custodian of the property later to be given to the Aboriginal Medical Centre.

I wanted a situation where we shared our lives with the poor (to be with not just for the Poor). That was Redfern. Was?

by Tom Hammerlon


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