Saint Mary’s, South Brisbane: Trinity Sunday 2009

June 6, 2009

One of the traditions particular to Saint Mary’s, South Brisbane as a parish church is that anyone is invited to make their own petition as part of the Prayers of the Faithful. This is a tradition that has – happily – continued under the new administration. For a while, I’d been contemplating praying something like this:

For all those in this parish that practice and teach the Catholic faith that has been handed down to us from the Apostles, may we be reunited as one flock under our true shepherd, Jesus Christ. We pray to the Lord.

I may still do so. But I was really pleased and touched that Father Ken Howell, the administrator of Saint Mary’s, was moved to compose his own ex tempore prayer at the vigil Mass tonight for Trinity Sunday:

We pray for Father Peter Kennedy and all those who gather with him. May they be brought to the truth. We pray to the Lord.

I think there was a little more to it than this, but that’s the bit I recall.

In light of recent events, I think it was a very appropriate and generous gesture. No one in the local church, I think, has ever wanted to be separated from those who regard themselves as truly Catholic, and the separation that has occurred is a source of pain. We all hope it will not be an enduring one.

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6 Responses to “Saint Mary’s, South Brisbane: Trinity Sunday 2009”

  1. Pax Vobiscum said

    Mark: It would seem, from your link about the “revocation of faculties”, that Fr Ken was indeed being generous, perhaps to the proverbial fault, in putting in a good eccelestiastical word for Father Kennedy. If the actual priestly faculties have been revoked, surely his patriachal title has to go to, otherwise it’s a mockery which no-one of would wish to perpetrate.
    Since one of the main elements in Peter’s critique of the Roman church has been thatit is a fundamentalist patriarchy

  2. msbahnisch said

    Pax Vobiscum – Peter Kennedy remains a priest.

    As to the issue about patriarchy, I’m well aware that’s part of Peter’s critique of what he calls the “institutional church” but I am of the view that he and Terry don’t practice what they preach on this one.

  3. judy said

    “We pray for Father Peter Kennedy and all those who gather with him. May they be brought to the truth. We pray to the Lord”.

    That’s an example of the condescending and “holier than thou” attitude taken by the “one true church”, that drives people away from the church. There is more than one way to find the truth – it is not the pregorative of the Catholic Church.

  4. msbahnisch said

    No doubt there is more than one way to find the truth, Judy, but I think the context here is that St Mary’s In Exile continues to stress its Catholicity – at least as I understand it. I may have missed something.

    • judy said

      As a member of St Mary’s community, we do see ourselves as still part of the Catholic Church, despite Peter Kennedy’s suspension. I have remained loyal to the community and to Peter Kennedy because I feel a sense of connection, and feel at home spiritually. I have difficulties with the rigid dogma of the traditional church and have adopted a questioning stance in life (in fact I do question some of the things that Peter Kennedy says. But, in the end, I feel an affinity with the community and that’s what keeps me there. The Archbishop underestimated this factor when he refused to engage directly with the community.
      But if anything the move to the TLC building has created more of a community feeling. But this sense of community exists in many parishes and, in many ways, the people who attend St Mary’s are very similar in cross section to other parishes. St Mary’s happens to suit me as a single person in a transistional phase of my life.

  5. But this sense of community exists in many parishes and, in many ways, the people who attend St Mary’s are very similar in cross section to other parishes.

    Indeed!

    Although it’s perhaps interesting to note that those in the community who are attending Mass at St Mary’s Church now comprise more from various cultural backgrounds other than ‘Anglo’ folk.

    In fact I do question some of the things that Peter Kennedy says

    That’s perhaps getting to one of the key tensions in all this. It is quite right to say that people should have an intelligent and mature faith, and questioning aspects of what is taught can undoubtedly be part of that. But it seems to me, from reading recent homilies, that Peter is proposing a particular point of view which seems to me to be a big departure from Catholicism – a sort of gnosticism. I don’t know whether, in some way, he’s still not playing the traditional priestly role of authoritative interpreter of doctrine – except that it’s his personal belief rather than a broader Catholic tradition. So I’m glad to hear that his statements don’t always go without question.

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