Redfern community farewells activist priest

More than 1,000 mourners have turned out to farewell a former Sydney priest renowned for his social justice work for the Aboriginal community in Redfern since the 1970s.

Father Ted Kennedy presided over Saint Vincent’s Parish for more than 20 years, retiring in 2002 due to ill health.

His funeral combined Catholic ritual with a traditional Indigenous smoking ceremony and Catholic hymns with didgeridoo music.

Richard Green, who gave the Indigenous welcome at the funeral, said Father Kennedy was much loved for his open style of preaching.

“He got down with everybody, he spoke to everyone, he ministered to everybody he met,” he said.

“He didn’t judge, you know, it’s so important to have someone like that in your community.

“He’s a blessing and his passing’s a pretty tragic thing. We’re going to miss him and the community’s going to miss him but he’s left a legacy.”

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