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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When I moved out of living in a religious community in 1992 to live alone, I chose to adopt Redfern as my parish community. I had experienced the challenge of Ted at Masses in Redfern when I lived in the area ten years before. I chose to come to Redfern because I valued the ethos of the place. I wanted my thinking challenged and I knew that would happen in Ted's homilies. I wanted to be with people who lived the challenge of the Gospel and didn't just talk about the poor. I admired the many people who were concerned about social justice and were prepared to do something about it. I loved having some contact with the aboriginal people themselves. I have learned so much from their care for one another.

What I appreciate about Redfern, is that Ted has created there a space where anyone can feel completely at home. Everyone is welcome and the sense of acceptance is strong. I feel it is a place where people can experience honesty and freedom. Ted has made this possible by his honesty in his homilies, by his trust of his community, and by his personal interest in each member. He knows us all by name and is interested in us. He welcomes and encourages people to take initiatives, and he respects and supports them when they do. While Ted has been the heart of the community, it is a community of equals there is no sense of clerical domination ... anyone with anything to contribute to the community is more than welcome to share. I sense that at Redfern we have a model of church that works. People care about each other. People take time to communicate with one another. It is people who matter at St Vincent's, not external show. I'm sure Jesus of Nazareth would feel very comfortable in our community.


by Pat Kennedy
 

 

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