Church Mouse Journal

More morsels from St Vincent's Redfern

Sunday, 26 September 2004


Social Justice Sunday at St Vincent's

The church was packed today for the 10am mass. Had all these people come to express solidarity with the St Vincent's Community?
Well, not quite. Social Justice Sunday was totally ignored by our parish priests. Instead, scores of Neocats were bussed in from near and far for a "Parish Feast". There were even mini-buses from the ACT and Victoria. Last Sunday, in an underwhelming gesture of inclusivity, Gerry issued a vague Clayton's invitation to the Community to attend a picnic after mass to celebrate the feast of St Vincent de Paul, at the same time declining to provide any information regarding time, location or catering. It would seem that Gerry's Neocat rent-a-crowd had access to the details well in advance.

NCP meeting

Some excerpts from the minutes of the National Council of Priests Meeting in September.
Redfern There was ongoing concern about reports of the lack of pastoral sensitivity by the Neo-Catechmenate priests at Redfern. There was particular concern about the decision to discontinue provision of a weekly meal and the withdrawal of the payment of $220 per week from the CWF that assisted outreach to the poor and needy of the community. Several parish communities in the Deanery have been supporting various initiatives at Redfern and the concern was widespread. There was a perception in the Catholic community that considerable funds were available to promote certain issues, to employ staff and to set up new agencies in the Archdiocese but no funds were available to continue support for those in need.
Mgr Rayner noted that:
  • the decision to cease handouts at the Redfern centre had been made at the request of one of the aboriginal elders in the Redfern community;
  • approximately $292000 was allocated to aboriginal ministry by the Archdiocese;
  • very few Catholics lived in Redfern parish;
  • most who attended mass there were from outside the Redfern area.

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