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Poor Church PDF Print E-mail
Written by Church Mouse   
Monday, 02 August 2004

On Sunday 25 July 2004 Encounter's David Rutledge presented a program on St Vincent's Redfern, entitled Poor Church.

Encounter is a radio program that may be heard on Sundays at 7.10am (repeated Wednesday at 7.10pm) on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National network.

This highly acclaimed series, co-ordinated by Florence Spurling, explores the connections between religion and life.

With an emphasis on a high standard of creative production, Encounter invites the listener to make connections intellectually, emotionally and intuitively across a broad spectrum of topics.

The program regularly reflects on the religious experience of multicultural Australia. This includes small, lesser-known groups and gives access to voices and experiences that are not often heard in the mainstream media.

Encounter has won local and international awards.

Summary

St Vincent de Paul Catholic Church in Sydney's Redfern has been a wellspring of social justice ministry for the past 35 years - but now that looks to be under threat.
New priests have been installed in the parish, and neither the priests, the congregation nor the local Aboriginal community are happy.

A transcript of the program may be found here on the ABC website or here on this site.


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Last Updated ( Sunday, 08 October 2006 )
 
Record numbers of visitors PDF Print E-mail
Written by Church Mouse   
Wednesday, 28 July 2004

Hundreds of people have visited the Church Mouse in the 36 hours since the program was first broadcast. Here are some excerpts from what a couple of them had to say.

Dear church mouse

I have just listened to poor church on the ABC.

It has saddened me deeply to hear of what is happening to your community. I was fortunate to experience the St Vincents community when I lived in Sydney in 1987 and attended Mass with Father Ted and Mum Shirl and felt the true inclusion of my 3 yr old son in the proceedings – not the usual experience for mothers of lively toddlers at Mass.

I learned volumes from Fr Ted as a role model and from the community about reconciliation. And I do remember the bare boards and everyone on the same level!! I also remember one week when ?Fabian from the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence talked to the congregation about his experiences of growing up gay and Catholic. This church is really about all people I felt. I had never felt that before.

I want to offer my support to your community at this really trying time - what is the best way for me to contribute to fundraising to sustain the twice weekly lunches?

Brigid C.

Dear Ted,

Sometime in the early eighties (I think), I attended a concert at the Opera House which featured catholic music writers and their songs and one of the performers was Peter Kearney. Peter came on to the stage like a breath of fresh air and proceeded to talk about a song he was to sing and how, at his church at Redfern, whenever he and the congregation sang the song, an aboriginal man (whose name I cannot remember) would call out at the end of the song "Play it again, Sam!" - the song was 'Where is your song, My Lord' and I vowed at that moment I would go to that church in Redfern as it sounded like something I may enjoy being at.

My husband accompanied me that first time and I stood at the back asking him "are you sure this is the catholic church?" - it was certainly different to any others I had attended!. I came back the next week, and as I reached the Church, I noticed a man sitting in the gutter with two aboriginal men, one on either side of him, arms around each other and chatting. Again I stood down the back and as communion time came around I saw that same man enter the church just in time to receive the eucharist. Now, I had been brought up in a strict Catholic household with a religion based on shame and fear, so can you imagine my thoughts as I witnessed this! I remember thinking how I had been taught the need to be in attendance for ALL of the Mass in order to receive the Eucharist! but that thought was dismissed in favour of a much stronger one - "THIS IS A CHURCH THAT PRACTISES WHAT CHRISTIANITY IS ALL ABOUT!"

I returned many, many times after that and I learned and changed and grew from those experiences. You were, and will always be, an inspiration to me, Ted, through your patience, tolerance and humility. Thank you for assisting me to believe that Christ can be alive and well within the Catholic Church!!

May God bless you ..... Mary B.

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The Religion Report Transcript PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jeremy Hartcher   
Wednesday, 28 July 2004

The Religion Report: 28 July 2004 - St Vincent’s Redfern

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National Religion Report is a guide to religious affairs in Australia and around the world. This weekly half-hour program offers analysis of events shaping the world of religion and the religious events that increasingly seem to be shaping our world.

Wednesdays at 8.30am, repeated at 8 pm

Presented by Stephen Crittenden


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Last Updated ( Sunday, 08 October 2006 )
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No positive spin from Pell on wicked Redfern PDF Print E-mail
Written by Michael Mullins   
Wednesday, 28 July 2004

Perhaps the most telling aspect of this week's Redfern Catholic community Encounter documentary on ABC Radio National was the decision of Cardinal George Pell and parish priest Fr Gerry Prindiville not to participate.

The program featured the voices of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal parishioners who feel disenfranchised by the new style of ministry introduced by Fr Prindiville and other members of The Neocatechumenal Way. The current model represents a radical departure from that which was built under the leadership of Fr Ted Kennedy over 35 years.

The absence of Cardinal Pell and Fr Prindiville from the list of speakers symbolises the detachment of the parish administration from the life of the parish community. It was part of a rich tapestry of symbols depicted in the program.

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Poor Church Transcript PDF Print E-mail
Written by David Rutledge   
Sunday, 25 July 2004

Transcript of Encounter program by David Rutledge 25 July 2005

Encounter is a radio program that may be heard on Sundays at 7.10am (repeated Wednesday at 7.10pm) on the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Radio National network.

This highly acclaimed series, co-ordinated by Florence Spurling, explores the connections between religion and life.

With an emphasis on a high standard of creative production, Encounter invites the listener to make connections intellectually, emotionally and intuitively across a broad spectrum of topics.

The program regularly reflects on the religious experience of multicultural Australia. This includes small, lesser-known groups and gives access to voices and experiences that are not often heard in the mainstream media.

Encounter has won local and international awards.

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Last Updated ( Saturday, 07 October 2006 )
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