I personally view being a Catholic as being synonymous with gracious hospitality to others.
Thank you to:
- Patrick Rabbath
What’s a Catholic life look like
I was born and raised Catholic by my parents who immigrated from Beirut Lebanon back in 1976.
Although I arrived to Australia as an infant, I retained the culture of hospitality and service to others through our food.
I personally view being a Christian-Catholic as being synonymous with gracious hospitality to others. I developed these skills over the years with my family as we were raised in this glorious country.
Little did I know that my way of service to God by offering hospitality to my fellow brothers and sisters was through these skills.
In late 2013 Father Tim Harris approached my brother Pascal and I and asked if we would be able to transform what use to be a simple tearoom into a fully-fledged café operation within Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Pascal and I had started a business roasting coffee locally in Burleigh Heads. And it was an honour to have been invited.
The establishment of a café at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, aptly named Church Door Café, allows three groups of people to come together.
Firstly it is an environment where parishioners love to mingle either prior to or after a Mass.
Though it has taken a little bit of time for the concept of a café right outside the church to become a planned destination and convenience for parishioners, they have really taken to it and supported it with open arms. They love Father Tim Harris’ vision and want to see it flourish.
Secondly, it is an environment where parents and guardians of children, who go to the neighbouring St Vincents Primary School, can come by during school drop-offs and pick-ups as a matter of convenience. We also host many parents who take their pre-school children to Kindyroo.
And thirdly, and most surprisingly of all, it has become an environment where local business and the wider-community choose to come to Church Door Café as a destination. We not only established an operation that our church can be proud of, but I am especially proud of the fact that the local community can meet with parishioners and enjoy each other’s company in a serene and peaceful environment over a coffee.
I love how my skills in hospitality have been used in service to the Lord to bring joy and laughter to so many, in the most unlikely of places.
To me, this is what it means to be Catholic in a 21st Century setting.