A couple of letters

Here are a couple of letters sent to Cardinal George Pell 5 or 6 weeks ago.

10 March 2010

The Archbishop of Sydney
Cardinal George Pell
Polding Centre
133 Liverpool St
Sydney 2000

Cardinal Pell,

At Mass last Sunday, only the host – no consecrated wine – was distributed at Communion. The Eucharistic minister approached the altar and was dismissed. This sort of thing happens regularly at St Vincent’s Redfern, but I just can’t get used to it.

I spoke to the celebrant, Fr Miguel Zavarese, after Mass. In six long years he is the … Continue reading

SMH report – Jan 19

The following article appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald earlier this week.

Two Catholic worlds collide as church disagreement deepens

Hot spot … Ralph Townsend, a long-term Aboriginal parishioner of St Vincent’s in Redfern. Photo: Edwina Pickles

The fight, ostensibly, is over a baptismal font and some words in chalk on a wall, but the latest in a series of rows at St Vincent’s Catholic Church in Redfern shows the conflict runs much deeper.

A recent clash … Continue reading


This report has been assembled rather hastily in the interest of exposing the latest unpleasantries at St Vincent’s. Given that a detailed submission regarding the restoration of the Baptismal Font was lodged with Cardinal George Pell earlier last week (and copied to Mendes), a question needs to be asked: Was this an act of revenge?

Sunday Mass-goers yesterday were saddened to find that the church had been defaced.

The Neocats had acted to remove Jim Considine’s iconic words chalked across the front of St Vincent’s church:

crucified on every city sidewalk
the aboriginal Christ should be free
in … Continue reading

Assistant PP replaced

On Sunday pp Mendes introduced his new assistant, Fr Miguel Zavarese, at the 10am mass. The community wishes Fr Miguel well – please God he will find peace and happiness at St Vincent’s.

Is it just the Neocat way of doing things, or an indication of Mendes’ regard for the community, that nothing was said regarding the circumstances of the newcomer’s predecessor, Joe Pelle, nor about Zavarese’s background. The community was disappointed that they were denied the opportunity to say their goodbyes.

After mass Mendes’ pastoral skills really shone forth when he bustled his new assistant out of the church, … Continue reading

Mass aborted yet again!

Sunday 2 August 2009

The Prayers of the Faithful were kicked off by Clare, who read from the back of an envelope a reflection inspired by the proximity of Hiroshima Day (6 August, also the feast of the Transfiguration). Before she could finish, the celebrant, Mendes, rudely interjected. Clare nevertheless persisted, reading the fourth and last sentence of her prayer.

Then Ann, driven by her recent visit to Central Australia, tried to offer a prayer and Mendes spat the dummy. The letters/emails tell the rest of the story.

This is not the first time that Sunday Mass has … Continue reading

Priests – special?

The following Prayer for Priests by St. Therese of Lisieux has appeared in the last few St Vincent’s church bulletins. It seems to be sufficiently divorced from reality to strike a chord with the Neocat clergy.

0 Jesus, eternal Priest,
keep your priests within the shelter of Your Sacred Heart,
where none may touch them.
Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch Your Sacred Body.
Keep unsullied their lips, daily purpled with your Precious Blood.
Keep pure and unearthly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood.
Let Your holy love … Continue reading

Good shepherd or dead sheep?

Predictably, the community was admonished today over last Sunday’s celebration.

Mendes seized upon the theme in today’s readings asserting the quality of his shepherding skills, as he has on other occasions, and that last week’s priests are  not just bad shepherds but wolves masquerading as shepherds, hungry to devour any misguided sheep that might stray within their reach.

(Ed: Neocat clergy, of course, do not register on the Church Mouse’s Good Shepherd Scale – not even somewhere below dead sheep.)

Lest anyone in the small congregation was struggling with the intent behind his good shepherd/bad shepherd pronouncements – his … Continue reading

Easter Sunday

Date: Sun, Apr 12, 2009 at 1:08 PM
Subject: Today – Easter Sunday
To: stvinred@bigpond.net.au

Dear Clesio,

After much prayer, reflection and soul searching I am writing to you.

It is not easy for I strongly believe what transpired after Mass today especially being Easter Sunday was wrong.

Throughout Mass today decorum together with spirituality should have been observed.

Shaming a long time parishioner of the church for the benefit of ‘newbies’ is cheap theatrics [‘theatre’ was a much used word during your Maundy Thursday sermon] and to suddenly decide to stop the ‘Prayers of the Faithful’ because … Continue reading