Sister Pat Durnan – Danny Glibert

Three priests, Fr Ted Kennedy, Fr Fergus Breslan & Fr John Butcher arrived at St Vincent’s Redfern at the end of 1971. Their vision was to establish a new way of priestly life where each was equal, where they would be free to engage in community life and where their house, the presbytery, and for that matter, the Church, would be open houses of welcome for all, particularly the poor and marginalised.

Sister Pat Durnan or Sister John, as she was then known, was a woman drawn to that vision of Church. Although by nature quite conservative, Vatican II and … Continue reading

The First Supper

One of the Church Mouse banner images – those at the top of the page that keep changing – that seems to attracts more attention than all the others is from a photograph of a framed image hanging in the back of the church.

It is a print of a work entitled "The First Supper" by Australian artist Susan Dorothea White, who says:

I was inspired to paint The First Supper after Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, by the narrative drama and magnificent composition of Leonardo’s painting. I wanted to challenge the … Continue reading

Reconciliation Ceremony of Healing

The community held a healing ceremony after Mass at St Vincent’s today to celebrate National Reconciliation Week. It was well attended, by far-flung community members and visitors alike.

Sadly, the Neocats followed their normal practice of evacuating the church as quickly as possible after Mass, even though an invitation to the ceremony was emailed to assistant pp Joe Pelle during the week (pp Mendes had been absent for 5 or 6 weeks). Pelle responded by berating the messenger’s divisiveness in specifically inviting the Neocatechumenal Way followers, and misguidedly assuring her that she was not representing the community.

Their final … Continue reading

Letter by Fr Terry Concerning St Mary’s

The following "Letter by Fr Terry Concerning St Mary’s", posted on the St Mary’s Catholic Community South Brisbane website, so clearly sums up what is happening in the Catholic Church in general and in places like St Mary’s and St Vincent’s in particular that it would be remiss of the Church Mouse not to bring it to your attention.

There are many who believe the Catholic Community of St Mary’s in South Brisbane should have made compromises to sort out its difficulties with the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.

To suggest that compromise is possible in this situation … Continue reading

Catholica comes to tea

The St Vincent’s community regularly sets aside the last Sunday of the month to enjoy a cup of tea and a leisurely chat after Mass. Guests are especially welcome, and the broad spectrum of "Redfernites" who visit the parish infrequently for many and varied reasons are heartily encouraged to mark their diaries accordingly.

Last Sunday, special guests singer-songwriter Amanda McKenna, and her husband Brian Coyne, editor of Catholica (formerly Catholica Australia) accepted an invitation to get together with the community.

They generously shared stories of their own journeys; Amanda sang a selection of her compositions and Brian spoke passionately … Continue reading


The following arrived today from Fr David Lancini, p.p. of Kirwan in Queensland. David, a great friend of Fr John’s, comes to Sydney for his annual holidays and helps out at The Meal for the two weeks that he is here. Over the many years that he has been doing this he had got to know Mary and Trevor.

He intends to put the following story on the front of his Parish Bulletin

MINISTERIAL REGION OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD Morindo Drive, Kirwan. Q. 4817 P.O. Box 203, Thuringowa Central. Q. 4817 Phone: (07) 4723 9844 Fax: (07) 4723 … Continue reading