Fr Ted, who spent more than 30 years supporting Redfern’s Aboriginal community, died at Concord Hospital on May 17 aged 74.
Long-time friend Chris Geraghty told the gathering at The Block that Fr Ted had lived to serve the people he loved.
“Our Fr Ted comes before you with a life poured out for all with empty pockets and dirty hands,” he said.
“He was a living treasure, compassionate, a pebble in the comfortable boot of establishment, a man who spilled his guts for others.
“He learnt to love what moved to rhythms other than his own.”
Fr Ted entered the seminary at 18 and was ordained in 1953. He moved to the Redfern church in 1971 and established a network of priests to support the local Aboriginal community.
Former governor-general Sir William Deane, Democrats Senator Aden Ridgeway and heritage campaigner Jack Mundy attended the service, along with about 40 priests.
An Aboriginal mass was held at St Vincent’s Catholic Church in Redfern before the main funeral service.