I knew of Fr Ted Kennedy from the early 1970’s, but did not become a participant at Redfern until the early 1980’s.
Lindsay and I were part of the loose Christian Community living in shared houses around the Uni of NSW. We were also early members of the St Vincent de Paul Night Patrol and often ventured into Redfern on our fortnightly rounds to talk to those sleeping out, to offer a cuppa and sandwich and conversation, and a bed if desired, and we’d called into de Porres house sometimes. We were moved by the Catholic Worker Movement initiated by Dorothy Day and made our shared house in Reservoir St Surry Hills a bit of an open house for Night Patrollers and passers by if we were home.
We began attending
During 1982 and 83 my memories are strong of Ted’s reflections and openness to people and their participation in the Mass, Mum Shirl’s call to action, her grannies proudly helping with alter serving, the sisters on the organ and controlling the hymn choice and pace, Harold gracing us with his brisk stride through the aisles, Joe who didn’t have much English, but who always smiled in welcome, Patty Newman, and others who spoke up strongly or tiptoed in quietly. Networks of friends grew from the congregation: Peter and Maggie, Fay and Chris, Tom and Jan, Bronwyn and Michael Crosby, Tric Darvel, Jeanette George, Sister Dom, Rhonda and Hilary, May and John Wong, Anna and John (the couple visiting from the “States) Elizabeth and Ken and Katherine, and many many more faces and mislaid names. As well there were the extended family of Peter and Madge Kearney, Anne and Chris Donaldson and Claire Parkhill who visited from the
From Redfern we were told of Black Deaths in Custody watch committees, jail visits and conditions, anti-racism action, peace rallies, AWD plans, activities on “The Block, ” police raids and who was unwell in the community, needing support or advocacy. Denis Doherty and Hannah urged us to act against the American bases, and I later joined a protest bus going to Pine Gap with other Redfernites. We provided occasional transport to Shirley in her advocacy. We welcomed
In 1985, Linds and I decided to move out of