Living the Eucharist

Letter to The Catholic Weekly

9 January 2005 by (Sr) Esmey Herscovitch, Redfern NSW

In this year of the Eucharist what better way to put into practice the invitation of Pope John Paul II to live the Eucharist than the Christmas meal we have just celebrated at St Vincent’s, Redfern.

The meal was served to some 250-300 peopleand a comparable number of hampers was distributed.
People from all over Sydney contributed directly or indirectly to this celebration thus making it an ecclesial event as well as a Eucharistic one. … Continue reading

Sharing the Christmas Meal 2004

Preparations for the special Christmas luncheon were buoyed by the news that the Charitable Works Fund has had a welcome change of heart – its $200 a week contribution to the Sharing the Meal initiative is to be re-instated. Fr Gerry’s announcement of the decision at the end of Mass today (19 December 2004) drew a hearty round of applause from the congregation.

Many parishes – especially from Northern Sydney – have contributed hampers for distribution to the needy who attend the Sharing the Meal. Organisers Mary McMahon and Kate Gavan and the rest of the St Vincent’s community … Continue reading

Letter Rob Brian

A letter from Online Catholics Issue 26, 17 November 2004

from: Rob Brian, via email, 12 November

Like John Hill [Issue #25] I am appalled at our Archbishop’s treatment of the Aborigines at St Vincent’s Parish in Redfern, Sydney. Instead of giving my usual donation to the Charitable Works Fund, which no longer supports the Sharing of the Meal project in Redfern, I have sent my money direct to the people who battle on to feed the hungry and help the needy. I urge my fellow Catholics to … Continue reading

Bearing witness

Sydney Morning Herald Letters, November 11, 2004

I have shared in the St Vincent’s parish community since 1971 when Father Ted Kennedy was appointed parish priest ("City’s poor ask for whom Pell tolls", Herald, November 10), and totally reject being labelled a newcomer to the parish by the Sydney Catholic archdiocese spokesman.

The unfortunate incidents outlined in my open letter published by Online Catholics actually happened, and in most cases occurred in front of witnesses. These have been properly documented and can be fully substantiated.

John Hill, Turramurra, November 10.

City’s poor ask for whom Pell tolls

Sydney Morning Herald, November 10, 2004


Multi-faith services and meals for the poor have gone from Redfern’s Catholic Church, writes Linda Morris.

Under the organ loft of St Vincent de Paul Church, latecomers fork through the remains of chicken stew and the crumbs of jam rolls while cheerful helpers chorus happy birthday for one of their own.

But the picture of good works at the twice-weekly meal for the poor belies simmering tensions between Catholic conservatives leading the Redfern parish and a diverse congregation with a reputation for social justice.

The new leaders … Continue reading

Sharing the Meal


An article from the South Sydney Herald, October 2004 by Jeremy Hartcher

A year and a half ago two women gathered in St Vincent’s church, in Redfern, to feed the hungry. They bought a chicken and a loaf of bread on their first morning and had one guest. Now they feed more than 200 people each week, free of charge. However, this service is under threat because funding from the Catholic Church was cut last month, forcing money to be raised on a week to week basis. Brother Michael Gravener helped establish what he calls ‘Sharing … Continue reading

Charitable Works Fund Appeal

I cannot understand the hostile reaction every time I make an appeal for the Charitable Works Fund. Everyone is free to give or not give according to his or her own conscience and resources. If you have made your decision not to give to this appeal in good conscience, what is the problem, why the hostile reaction? It does not matter to me if you give or do not give. This is a matter between you and God.

Fr Gerry (The Saving Word, 15 August 2004)