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

Recent Parish Priests

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The Neocats
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Points of view

Visitors since 12 April 2004
  Church Mouse

I first met you at university, but as a part time student in those years I had little connection with you. Later when you moved to Neutral Bay you suggested the “Camperdown Choir”, then without a home, might like to come to the parish without a choir. In your early years at Redfern I recall, that with three or four small children we didn’t often manage Sunday Mass.

Alicia was baptised at St Vincent’s in 1974. I had had a different sort of baptism, down at the Empress Hotel, in those early days of the Aboriginal Legal Service. To witness Aboriginal people being hauled from the bar or the footpath and thrown into the paddy-wagon by the local constabulary, both shocked and radicalised me; we whites in the hotel were not being similarly treated - and nor were my neighbours at Roseville, when they might have had a little too much to drink.

I can only speculate on what your practical support, personal knowing and love of so many Aboriginal people has meant for them. To see even a little of this is to be deeply moved and challenged, as is being told how much they love Father Ted.

As the children got to be a little older (Michael the eldest was 7 or 8), Peter and I decided it was important that they experience a Catholic community where the gospel values were lived as well as preached. It was not of course just for the children: I also was wanting to be involved in a community.

You have a wonderful talent for facilitating connections between people. This has been one of the great benefits for me, and I think for many other people of Redfern; another is to have been enriched, stimulated, and always challenged by your reflections and homilies.

You are the least judgmental person I have ever known. Alicia in an essay in year ten described you as the most Christ-like person she knew or could imagine, and I am sure she is not alone in seeing you this way. You are a wise, compassionate, understanding man, and I’m not sure that you are always aware of your impact on other people’s lives. You have encouraged and challenged and supported me, both intellectually and personally.

It has been a joy to share plays, films, meals, holidays and time with you over many years. You are very warm and generous in giving of your time and of yourself to so many people.

Thank you for your love.

by Mary Cawood


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