Priests voice support for beleaguered Redfern ministry

The Toowoomba Diocese Vicar General has written a letter of solidarity to parisioners of the Sydney parish of Redfern who feel their parish priest has destroyed the pastoral legacy of the late Fr Ted Kennedy.

Former longtime parish priest Fr Kennedy (pictured), who died last year, was best known for his success at integrating members of Redfern's Aboriginal community into the life of his parish. His unconventional style of ministry is widely perceived to have been repudiated by the current parish priest, Fr Gerry Prindiville, who is a member of the Neo-Catechumenal Way.

Toowoomba Vicar General Fr Peter Dorfield wrote a letter dated 20 February 2006, to Fr Kennedy's sister, Sr Marnie Kennedy rscj, who is an active member of the parish community.

"Your brother Ted was and continues to be an inspiration to so many Australians," Fr Dorfield said. "He was and continues to be a shining example and influence in the lives of many priests of our Toowoomba Diocese."

Fr Dorfield continued: "We wanted to express our concern and our solidarity with you and your companions who continue to serve and respect the people of Redfern as Ted did."

He said that at a recent meeting of the Toowoomba Diocese Council of Priests, they acknowledged Fr Kennedy's ministry and "noted with sadness [and some anger] what was currently happening in Redfern".

Fr Dorfield assured Sr Kennedy that the spirit of her brother lives on in many places.

Sadness and anger (Church Mouse Journal 6/3/06)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Archdiocese of Sydney
Catholic Diocese of Toowoomba
Redfern Church Mouse
The Neo-Catechumenal Way - Australia

Police involved in subduing recalcitrant parishioners (CathNews 6/6/05)
Farewell to Redfern's Fr Ted Kennedy (CathNews 25/5/05)
Death of Redfern's Fr Ted Kennedy (CathNews 18/5/05)
Priest denies Redfern church is "for the Aboriginals" (CathNews 29/7/04)
Professor criticises Redfern charity withdrawal (CathNews 28/7/04)
Sydney priest still struggling to win congregation's loyalty (CathNews 24/9/03)
Pell acts to resolve Redfern priest crisis (CathNews 21/7/03)

Input invited at evangelisation forum (Catholic Weekly 5/3/06)

8 Mar 2006