Tribute for Ted

Thirty-three years ago Ted opened the presbytery door to Aunty Helen and so began his extraordinary journey here at Redfern and for many of us our journey was entwined with his. His early days with that rag tag group of lay and religious people who threw their lot in with him and the poor, were tumultuous and life changing.

None of us here today would want him to have suffered one more day but our grief and loss is raw. We have lost someone we all loved deeply. I loved you Ted and feel I have lost my soul mate.

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Ted’s Funeral – introductory speech

Ted Kennedy had a great love of Ireland and empathy with the struggles of the Irish. He was very familiar with what Patrick Pearse had to say at the grave side of O’Donovan Rossa. What Pearse had to say was this:

“Splendid and holy causes are served by splendid and holy men.”

The cause to which Ted Kennedy selflessly devoted his life was the liberation of the human spirit. Ted found the expression of that liberation in poetry, in art, in theatre, in friendship and in the sheer joy of life. Of course for Ted, the most potent … Continue reading

Our Father

Dear Ted our Father,
who believed that each of us carries a piece of heaven,
precious is your name for those who loved you
because you showed us a living kingdom
here on earth as it is in heaven.

You understood how critical it is to have a piece of bread at the end of each day, especially for those of us who know hunger and unemployment.

How clearly you insisted that we must reconcile with those on whom this nation trespassed with blood, before we can learn to forgive those who trespass against … Continue reading

Griffo’s grief

Griffo had been in Kempsey for about a month.

On Tuesday last, by his own account, he had “a feeling”- of loneliness and sense of loss. Griffo did not know that Ted had died, but he suspected that “something” was wrong – a member of his family perhaps…..

When he got into Central yesterday afternoon (Friday), he was “bustin’ for a cuppa” and headed for “The Gathering Place” in Caroline St. When he got there he saw a notice in the window – not an unusual thing – very often a notice would be placed in the window advising that … Continue reading

From the Kearneys

Hello Church Mouse,

We have been living in Ireland for the past couple of years. We heard the news of Ted’s passing from Marnie Kennedy within a few hours of his death. Sad news because Ted has always been a great affirmer for us and like a member of our family – as of so many families. It’s difficult to be so far away as preparations are made for his funeral…. but good to be browsing through the ‘Church Mouse’ website today and to feel closer to the memory of a great hearted man.


Peter and Madge Kearney
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Personal Reflections on Ted Kennedy

What made Ted Kennedy so special? What made him value his role as a priest while at the same time never ever espousing clericalism? Ted had a heart that was filled with the compassion of Christ. Although totally ecumenical in his way of life and belief he did not have to search for new age solutions to find compassion. His way of seeing the world was formed by his religious tradition and his own family.

Ted once said that the saddest thing in the world was that people lived unpoetically. Poems for Ted were not just printed words dancing on … Continue reading

A father to the poor and dispossessed

Edward Phillip Kennedy, Catholic priest, 1931-2005

Father Edward (Ted) Kennedy, who has died at 74 after a long illness, was parish priest of Redfern for more than 30 years. In that time he became a national authority on the plight of Aborigines, an authority that came not from libraries but from sharing their hazardous lives.

Ted Kennedy came to Redfern almost by chance. In the heady years after Vatican II (1962-65) he belonged to a movement of priests eager to try out new styles of ministry. In particular, they wanted to displace the feudal structure of parishes, whereby pastors … Continue reading