August 2002

For all of us, this collection of thoughts and reflections is in part a way of naming some of the spirit of Ted Kennedy and his effect on this Redfern community; it will also say more about us individually and as a community. Putting pen to paper implies care about what has been, a desire that future generations have access to contemporary witness, and perhaps more centrally we are compiling these stories and reflections at a time in our community when we are yearning for courage and inspiration. The paradoxical strength of this community was … Continue reading

Redfern Reflections – Reality and Relationships

I have been attending Mass at St Vincent‘s Redfern pretty consistently since 1983. Through my involvement with TCFA (A national Catholic university association) I had meet Ted Kennedy and had contact with his church at Redfern. Since leaving uni, I had lived and taught in the outer urban wilderness of Green Valley and in the underdevelopment of Sri Lanka. Returning to Sydney sick, I went to live with my parents and began going to church at the parish in which I had grown up. Each Sunday I would walk out feeling angry and alienated. It … Continue reading

Beth’s reflections on being at Redfern

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled (sic) by,
And that has made all the difference(Robert Frost)

About 13 years ago, I was going to yet another 6pm Saturday night Mass, “trying-out” this Church, then that. On this particular night, I decided to swing the car around and “try-out” Redfern Church, a place that had been recommended to me at times. Well, first impressions have startlingly remained with me; a somewhat dilapidated church in the more seamy of suburbs (I came from Coogee); many Aborigines outside asking “sister” for … Continue reading


I have experienced something quite wonderful at St Vincent‘s Church.

The warmth of the community, the stimulation of Ted’s sermons and his extraordinary vision and generosity, the very practical works of social justice, the energy and the space to grow as a Christian are all things I treasure.


When I was nine years old, a man with a begging bowl chanced to cross my path as I walked through my home- town in England. At that moment I felt deep anger at the indignity of his situation. I silently vowed that I would change the world. That moment has inspired my life. On “finding” Redfern those feelings flooded back. I had always perceived myself as different. At Redfern I came to realise that all of life’s experiences had conspired to fit me for life in an alien world.

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