Blessing of Brisbane Cafe - a message from ACU Brisbane Chaplain, Fr Harry Chan ofm.
Some people say that if a Jesuit priest visits a monastery, the first place he would go is the library. Knowing the Jesuits are very learned.
If a Benedictine monk visits a monastery, the first place he would go is the chapel. Knowing the monks are very prayerful.
If a Franciscan friar visits a monastery, the first place he would go is the kitchen. St. Francis and the friars always appreciate God's creations, food and drink.
It is so true. As a Friar, I always go to the canteen for lunch or to meet people. I find the canteen is a place of friendship, relaxation, joy and love.
On Monday 13 March, ACU Brisbane Campus held the first of our regular AVC Staff Morning Teas for 2017. At the same time, I conducted the blessing of the new refurbished campus café. With around 70 staff in attendance I lead them in a blessing and as I went around the canteen and sprinkled it with holy water.
ACU Brisbane Theology and Philosophy student, Matthew Ross led the gathered staff and students in the hymn 'How Great thou Art'. The new café is aptly named, 'Hive on the Hill' drawing on the University and Holy Spirit Provincial Seminary’s location known as ‘Beehive Hill’ due to the once rich source of honey for the Aboriginal people, who collected sustenance from colonies of native bees within the densely timbered surrounds.
From time to time, people ask me to give a blessing when they move into a new house/apartment. We like to say I have a house, I own a car. In a Christian perspective, we don't own anything. We are only stewards of this passing world. For me, the blessing of canteen is a reminder for us that God is the creator of the universe. We give thanks to God for this beautiful café on Brisbane Campus, we also bless those who are working there and those who come to buy food and relax there. The Holy Spirit chapel provides spiritual food and nourishment to students and staff, whereas the café provides physical food and drink. It is a fantastic place to have lunch and relax in the midst of our work and study.
Today our culture is becoming very individualistic. We can spend the whole day and night on the computer and social media. We can study online courses and work from home. However, we are social beings. There is a greater need today to go out of ourselves to meet people. I hope and pray that we can meet each other face to face whether at the café, chapel, lecture rooms, offices and anywhere else on the campus.