REFLECTIONS
Father Ted Kennedy
St Vincent's Redfern 1971 - 2002
 
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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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We finally arrived at Redfern after having heard of Ted and his work from various members of the clergy and a variety of people over thirty years. Each time we would say that we must go to Mass at Redfern something got in our way.

I will never forget the first evening Mass we attended. The small Blessed Sacrament chapel, under the gallery, was being used for some reason. Ted arrived and immediately came and introduced himself to us and welcomed us and then proceeded to tell us how lucky we were to be there that night, as a special lady was going to speak to us. She told us that years ago, as a young girl, she had a child. The boy had been given for adoption. Later she had entered the convent, eventually becoming the provincial of her order. The child was always on her mind until eventually they made contact and they were united with each other in New Zealand. They have kept in contact ever since. He is a married man with a family.

The love and compassion shown by Ted and the community hit me like a thunderbolt. This was what Jesus was all about

I thought of all the churches I'd been to during my life - always searching for total acceptance and never quite finding it. Personalities, money and hunger for power always got in the way.

At Redfern I have found peace. I am so happy to have experienced Ted's loving leadership - he has sown the seed and I know that, even though he has retired, his spirit will remain and the community will nurture it and will continue to grow together in his spirit which is the spirit of Jesusí concern for the poor and needy.

Shalom


by Kate Gavan
 

 

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