Is this an ecumenical Church?
Not according to the Neocats
Church Mouse
tells the story of the
St Vincent's parish in Redfern, an inner city suburb of Sydney: of Fr Ted Kennedy and Mum Shirl; of the community's values, ideals and strength in adversity; and of its amazing journey through the last couple of years.
For the latest updates:

Church Mouse Journal
More morsels from St Vincent's Redfern

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

Pell's appointments
The Neocats
Our pastors

Interesting reading

Points of view

Visitors since 12 April 2004
  Church Mouse

St Vincent's, under the spiritual guidance of Father Ted Kennedy, was well known for its welcome to and inclusion of all people, especially the suffering, the abused and the forgotten.

Such behaviour, it would seem, is an anathema to our Neocat priests.

November 4, 2001


The Catholic Community of St Vincent's at Redfern celebrated a MASS OF COMPASSION AND SUPPORT for those who drowned while attempting to come to Australia on the SIEVX (Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel X) in October 2001, for those suffering the loss of their loved ones in that disaster and for all of our Muslim brothers and sisters who have suffered abuse and harassment in Australia.

One of the organisers, Mary McMahon, said today that the Redfern Catholic community, including the Aboriginal community wished to express deep sorrow for the refugees who drowned while attempting to reach Australia from Indonesia.

"We were so horrified by the apparent callousness, the lack of simple human kindness and disregard for the suffering of those who have lost so much, exhibited by various politicians, that we felt that we had to make an effort to contact the Muslim community and offer our support and sympathy. For us, the most fulfilling way of doing this is to offer a mass in which the congregation, Catholics and Muslims, can join in mutual support and understanding. We hope that our action will be seen as uniting the community rather than dividing it," she added.

Muhammad Al Musawy spoke on behalf of the families of the victims of the tragedy: "I know that my wife's spirit and the spirits of her three beautiful nieces, who all drowned in the tragedy, will find more peace knowing that their tragic fate has brought our communities closer together."

The Mass was attended by the Mufti of Australia, Sheik Taj el-Din Al Hilaly and members of Sydney's Moslem communities who read from the Koran. "I appreciate your message of support and solidarity, may God bless you all," said the Mufti.

Father Ted Kennedy, parish priest and Father John Ford were the main Catholic celebrants.

Ted's homily for the occasion may be found here.

November 3, 2002


An Interfaith service was held at St Vincent's on the anniversary of the Mass of Compassion for the Muslim community in Australia.

The theme was one of creating a space for friendship, celebrating diversity, coming together in peace and harmony.

Spokesperson Mary McMahon said: 'At this time of sadness and suffering in the Australian community following the massacre in Bali, we remember the innocent who have died violently including those who have tried to come to Australia in search of peace. We are also supporting all in our community who are being mistreated because of their race,
religion or colour.'

Members of the Muslim community, Jews, Buddhists, Sikhs and Christians from many denominations attended the unique Interfaith Service which concluded with a shared meal.

The Uniting Church's Rev Dorothy McCrae-McMahon wrote the liturgy, with its emphasis on children and young people and building bridges of friendship, support and community, in consultation with the various faith communities.

September 2004


Despite numerous representations by Mary McMahon and others, Neocat parish priests Prindiville and Sudla doggedly refuse to allow St Vincent's to be used as the venue for another Interfaith Service. The Community's wishes have been dismissed with a perfunctory "This is not an Ecumenical Church". See news article No accord on inter-faith service.

George Pell, with your track record in ecumenical and interfaith activities, how can you continue to unconditionally support these Neocats?

Postscript: The Ecumenical and Interfaith Commission of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne has advised Church Mouse that the terms "interfaith" (or "inter-religious" as it is also called) and "ecumenical" are not the same. "Interfaith" relates to relationships with other religions, and "ecumenical" to relationships with other Christians.

The confusion in the minds of Prindiville and Sudla is consistent with their display of intolerance not only of other religions and other Christians, but also of Catholics who do not travel the Neocatechumenal Way.




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