Farewell to Redfern's Fr Ted Kennedy

Aboriginal activist and Catholic priest Fr Ted Kennedy was farewelled yesterday by about a large number of mourners at a funeral service conducted in light rain under a tarpaulin at The Block public space in Sydney's Redfern.

AAP estimated that 700 were present, while the Sydney Morning Herald put the number at "more than 1500".

Fr Ted, who spent more than 30 years supporting Redfern's Aboriginal community, died at Concord Hospital on 17 May 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.

Activist priest farewelled (The Australian/Australian Associated Press 24/5/05)
The saint who spilt his guts for others (Sydney Morning Herald 25/5/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Sydney | Redfern
Church Mouse
John Hill: Reflections on Fr Ted

Death of Redfern's Fr Ted Kennedy (CathNews 18/5/05)

Next Aussie Saint? (Online Catholics 25/5/05)
Redfern community farewells activist priest (ABC Message Stick 24/5/05)
Remembering Ted Kennedy; venerating Mary (The Religion Report 25/5/05)
Ted Kennedy 1931-2005 (Green Left Weekly 25/5/05)
Priest with a big heart (The Australian 24/5/05)
A father to the poor and dispossessed (Sydney Morning Herald 19/5/05)
Comment from Cardinal Pell re Fr Ted Kennedy (Archdiocese of Sydney 17/5/05)
Peter Maher: The Challenge of Redfern (Church Mouse)
Activist priest Ted Kennedy dies, 74 (Daily Telegraph 18/5/05)
Redfern's Father Ted Kennedy dies (ABC Radio PM 17/5/05)
Kennedy enters the Dreamtime (Online Catholics 18/5/05)

25 May 2005