first sighting of Fr Ted Kennedy, Parish administrator
of St Vincentís Redfern must have been in the early
eighties when Lenore Sharry (NDS) (who died of cancer
in January 1995) took me to Redfern on Saturday evening
on the train for a 6.0 p.m. Mass. We usually attended
which was a fifteen minute walk from our house, so this
was something a little different. I cannot remember
very much about that first occasion, except that I was
quite intrigued by the long strips of cream paint peeling
off the rather shabby white walls in that quite dimly
lit place. I also remember the wooden floor boards.
It must have been winter time.
few years later in 1988, after being given the sack
(for insubordination) as Parish organist, singer and
non-resident guitarist at St Maryís, Erskineville, I
came to Redfern in search of a friendly Church. It was
getting a little wearisome, anyway, to have to lead
the singing and play every Sunday. I needed a change.
sermons were always the highlight of the Mass for me,
for there seemed often to be a twist to the usual interpretation
of the gospel that was really worth thinking about.
It also delighted me that we did not have to stand for
ages for a long Creed or equally long Prayers of the
Faithful. The notices at the end of Mass, where people
get up to give their ďspiffĒ, continue to keep me abreast
of justice issues.
1991 Marnie Kennedy (RSCJ), Tedís sister moved in with
us (the Sisters of Sion) at our heavenly address at
Erskineville 2043, just five minutes from St Peterís
Station. She has been there ever since, except for being
absent for a period that spanned most of 1993 to the
beginning of 1996.
1993, for about three months Marnie was in Rome
to give a session to a group of Sacre Coeur nuns from
round the world. Shortly after her return, in October
1993, Marnie and Tedís sister, Celie became very ill
with another bout of cancer, which eventually claimed
her life in early 1995. Marnie nursed her during all
that time. Her illness and death was a really painful
can remember Celieís Mass which Ted said. I can remember
the poem and the Irish blessing. When we went outside
of the Church with Celieís coffin, a flock of noisy,
brilliantly coloured rainbow lorikeets swooped down
from the trees as if joining in the farewell. Marnie
stayed in Celieís flat for the next few months, and
supervised the renovations that were being made prior
to selling it. A former alcoholic, a friend of Tedís,
came often to do the painting. It took rather a long
returned to Divine
in 1996 where she has been ever since with the one permanent
resident, myself. And what of Ted? When the car worked,
he would pick up Marnie about .
every Sunday and visit someone in need on the way to
the Church. At one stage it was Mum Shirl, who actually
came to our place a couple of times (with Dom) for Easter
or Christmas dinner. I have the photos to prove it.
ever two people appreciate the telephone it is Marnie
and Ted. I often pick up the phone to Ted who says:
"Whereís Marnie?Ē Marnie may not always be home, but
I usually know her whereabouts and leave the message
to phone. That was him phoning a minute ago. I donít
actually know right now where Marnie has gone!