“Who we are” – An extract from an Address by Gerard Brennan in 2011 

“After Vatican II, we were challenged to find a deeper meaning to our faith.  The scriptures and the two great commandments – to love God and neighbour – were given a new vitality. We come to St Canice’s to answer these challenges, to be supported by others who are on the same journey and to be encouraged when we fail.  We give thanks for one another and for the comfort of being pilgrims together.

Meditation and the study of the scriptures strengthen the spiritual life of the parish. We are proud of our recently refurbished church and its surrounds but, more importantly, we are proud of the variety of people who make up the church that we know.  St Canice’s extends its welcome to all – to the lonely people of the street and to the comfortable middle class, to the transvestites and the fashionistas, to the public figures and the unknown, to the hungry and the well fed, to the devout and the doubtful.

There is openness in our parish life, welcoming the refugees, feeding the hungry and clothing the naked. Canice’s Kitchen offers both food and hospitality and if the sounds of the assembled guests are wafted through the windows of the church, they are an authentic hymn of praise to Him Who ate with Matthew and other tax collectors and sinners.

St Canice’s is a parish but it is not parochial.  One of the benefits that we receive from the Jesuits is an opportunity to participate in the work of Jesuit Missions and the Jesuit Refugee Service.  Whether it is the hunger of the people of East Africa, or the plight of refugees in the camps of Thailand or Villawood, we offer our prayers and practical assistance thankful for the benefits of living in a free and peaceful country.  Our parishioners have been closely involved in our sister parish in Railaco, rejoicing in the rebuilding of a community devastated by conflict.

The ecumenical spirit has grown as we formed relationships with other Christian communities in our area. Each year on Good Friday Christians of all denominations join in a procession of witness through the Cross to the Sacred Heart Hospice, praying on the way that all may be one.“

In all, St Canice’s is unique, a very inclusive parish, in the Ignatian tradition.

We acknowledge the Gadigal people, the traditional custodians on whose land this church was built.

We are Christians who have only recently inhabited this area and named it Elizabeth Bay and Kings Cross. For 130 years we have sought and found the living God in word and sacrament and one another. We are human beings who need saving and the forgiveness that comes from the love of God in Jesus. All of us – the rich and the poor, the happy and the sad, the defensive and the enquirers, the peace makers and the dividers, the hard of heart and the compassionate – have been given life and hope and faith and love beyond our dreams and we want to share what we have been given.


Gerard Brennan