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Ted Kennedy

Priest of Redfern

‘If in these first heady days of Pope Benedict XVI there is a fast track to sainthood, Father Ted Kennedy should be on it.’

Words from a tribute paid in the NSW State Parliament by the then Deputy Premier, Dr Andrew Refshauge, to Father Ted Kennedy. More than a thousand people attended the three and a half hour long funeral and Requiem Mass held at the Block in Redfern, where Ted Kennedy performed his ministry.

Refshauge went on: ‘It was said of Ted at his funeral that he was a holy man, a living treasure, a pebble in the comfortable boot of the establishment, an untidy prophet and an enemy of cruel blindness and petty pomp who ended his life with empty pockets and dirty hands, his life poured out for all.

‘Ted Kennedy's conscience was a goad to the mighty and a balm to the needy. It led him to where, before him, many would not go. It made him a landmark and a local hero. It made him beloved. It made him contentious. It stirred him to anger and mercy, sorrow and great forgiveness, and long nights of the soul.’

Historian Edmund Campion has written a moving and insightful tribute to this colourful and challenging figure from the recent history of the Catholic Church. Campion is well known for his popular accounts of the role of the Catholic Church in Australian history and society. Being ordained a year or so after Ted Kennedy gives him a particular insight into the man and his story.

Some other tributes:
'He managed to incorporate the best of Catholicism into his personal life, which was evident in the way he related to the poor, the outcast and the downtrodden. He was always prepared to share his own belongings with anyone in need.'
Pat Dodson

'We have lost a fierce friend to encourage us, a powerful God-botherer, an untidy, grimy prophet, a Jesus figure in our midst … He was a pebble in the comfortable boot of establishment, a man who spilt his guts for others
Ted Kennedy
ISBN: 9781863551298
$ 24.95

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