Ted Kennedy (priest)

Ted Kennedy (Priest)

Ted Kennedy (priest)

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Edward Phillip Kennedy (1931–2005) was a prominent Australian clergyman and activist.

Early life and ordination

Ted Kennedy was known throughout Australia as the priest of St Vincent’s Roman Catholic church in the Sydney inner-city suburb of Redfern. He arrived there in 1971, appointed to head a team ministry by the then Archbishop of Sydney James Freeman (later Cardinal). He served also as presbyter in Redfern continuously under Archbishops Edward Bede Clancy and George Pell. This remains unusual by contemporary diocesan standards which limit the duration of tenure.

Work with aboriginals

The area has a significant Aboriginal population, and Kennedy identified with the many social problems and challenges the Aboriginal community faced. He worked to bring justice for Aboriginal Australians. His presbytery and church community became a place of refuge for Indigenous Australians travelling from all parts of the nation. He befriended Aboriginal activist Mum Smith, and worked closely with her until she died in 1998.

Personal poverty and commitment

His example of personal poverty and commitment influenced other individuals and organisations. In 1975 Frank Brennan S.J. worked at Redfern with Ted, and thus began a lifelong connection and influence. While he was priest at Redfern, South Sydney Uniting Church donated property to the Black Theatre and the Sisters of Mercy gave property to the Redfern Aboriginal community in 1978 in which the Aboriginal Medical Service was...
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