Peter Kennedy was born in Bowen, Queensland. All his primary education was in State schools and his secondary education was with the Christian brothers at St Edmunds in Ipswich and Nudgee College, Brisbane. He trained for Catholic Priesthood at Pius XII Seminary, Brisbane. He was ordained a Priest in the Roman Catholic Church and served as a Priest in various parishes in Queensland including in the Royal Australian Navy. He eventually was given the posting at the St Mary's church in South Brisbane to be Chaplain at Boggo Road jail. Over many years he has transformed St Mary's church into a welcoming place for people who sought an alternative to the strict doctrines of the Catholic Church. In 2009, Kennedy was sacked by Archbishop Bathersby as the administrator of St Mary's parish. However followed by his over 1000 strong congregation, Kennedy continued to practice in the Trades & Labour Council Building in Peel Street.
To find out about the St Mary’s Community in Exile please visit http://stmaryssouthbrisbane.com/
Terry Fitzpatrick has been the associate Priest at St Mary’s since the mid 90s. He has been instrumental in contributing to the creation of a socially conscious community at South Brisbane. Terry trained as a Diocesan Priest for the Toowoomba Diocese at Banyo Seminary in Brisbane. After spending six years in the Toowoomba Diocese working in rural communities Terry came back to Brisbane to begin studying for a Masters in Social Work at Queensland University. Through his connection with Peter Kennedy while working in prisons and studying for the priesthood Terry reconnected with the parish of St Marys in South Brisbane. After completion of his studies he continued working in the St Marys parish. The Diocese of Brisbane appointed Terry as Aboriginal Chaplain to work with and alongside the Catholic Aboriginal community of Brisbane. Alongside his work in the parish and his duties as Aboriginal Chaplain Terry has energetically been involved with Micah Inc since its inception in 1995. Micah Inc began as a response by the St Marys parish to respond more effectively to poverty and marginalisation within the inner city of Brisbane. Terry continues to enjoy and be inspired by the people he works with and alongside. He looks forward to a bright new horizons and challenges as Micah and the St Marys community continue to provide hope and compassion in an ever changing world.
Karyn Walsh is passionate about advocating for people who experience discrimination, disadvantage and abuse or violence. She has worked in the community sector for the past 30 years in the areas of youth, domestic violence, homelessness, disability services, young parents, prison ministry, care leavers and social disadvantage. This experience is strengthened by her previous work as a Registered Nurse, by a Diploma in Community Management and through other leadership roles including Chair of the Domestic Violence Resource Centre. Karyn is the Coordinator of Micah Projects Inc in Brisbane, President of the Queensland Council of Social Services (QCOSS) and a Director on the Board of Common Ground Queensland.
To find out about the work of Micah please visit http://www.micahprojects.org.au/
Father Ken Howell is the Dean of The Cathedral of St Stephen, Brisbane. Ordained a priest in 1983, he has served in the Parishes of Noosa Districts, Burleigh Heads and the Cathedral. His particular interest is in church worship and after three years study in Rome he gained a post graduate degree in Liturgical Studies from the Pontifical Liturgical Institute. In addition to his commitments at the Cathedral Parish, he has guided St Mary’s Parish, South Brisbane since April 2009. He is the current Chair of the Council of Priests and Chair of the Archdiocesan Commission on the Liturgy.
Mick Sullivan is an Aged Pensioner who spent most of his working life working for the Roman Catholic Church or Church agencies. He spent eighteen months in the Seminary in the same class as Fr. Peter Kennedy. Mick's grandparents and parents attended St Mary's church and after Peter Kennedy and most of the congregation left St Mary's church, Mick returned to worship at St Mary's church.
My involvement with St Mary’s community has been since the year 2000. The community’s activities at this time were aligned to my involvement in Catholic education. I was invited to be a welcomer and to read at the Sunday evening homily and this involvement also extended to Lent, Easter, Pentecost and Advent liturgical expressions. Since the relocation of the community I have coordinated the weekly liturgies and the weekly bulletins.
A highly authoritarian, institutionalized and centralized church ceases to function within a contemporary context. The undemocratic, exclusive structures and the condoning of abusive behaviour has resulted in many being disillusioned and disengaged.
Would the current situation of the church be supported within other organizations within our current society? Has the retention of past beliefs caused a disparity between faith and current understandings? Is the church and its unchanging nature purposeful and relevant to life? Does the church embrace a fullness of human existence and its interconnectedness will all life along with the acceptance of mystery or not knowing? St Mary’s community, as an intentional faith community, seeks to engage all people in living fully.
Camille Furtado as been a member of St Mary's Community since she started attending mass at the Church with her family in the late 1980s. Camille is passionate about social justice issues and is a keen volunteer amongst social justice causes. She studied politics and journalism at the University of Queensland. Camille currently lives in the Northern Territory and works as part the Northern Territory Trade Union Movement. She is looking for a progressive church to be part of in the Northern Territory.