Sacred Heart Centre
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Welcome Father John Lai!

Fr John Lai, the new Chaplain of the Chinese Catholic Community, is coming to Brisbane on 24 March. He will stay at the Sacred Heart Residence behind the Centre. 

      About 21 years ago when we had the Sacred Heart Centre built, I asked to have the Residence built also for the Chaplain. I didn’t stay there because I was already staying at St Thomas Parish, Camp Hill. The Missionaries of the Sacred Heart were then looking after St Thomas Parish. I preferred to stay there with my MSC community. 

      A week ago when Fr John came to Brisbane, he had a meeting with Archbishop Mark. He told Archbishop Mark that he will be staying at the Sacred Heart Residence. Archbishop Mark approved his wish to stay there. 

       Let us welcome Fr John warmly when he comes to Brisbane to begin his ministry as the new Chaplain of the Chinese Catholic Community, staying at the Sacred Heart Residence.  

Fr Albert Chan MSC

March 2012

Sunday 17 March 2002: It was on this day that Archbishop John Bathersby blessed and officially opened our Sacred Heart Centre. Looking back I am full of gratitude to God and to so many generous contributors, rich and poor alike, from Brisbane, interstates and overseas. Some have gone to their eternal reward, may they now rest in peace. What I found inspiring was the people not living in Brisbane who would not benefit from our Centre contributed so generously. A relative of mine (RIP) from Sydney donated $30,000! To complete our project we were able to borrow $200,000 interest-free loan from Norman Mar Fan (RIP). Then we become the beneficiary of about the same amount left to us in the will of Elizabeth Chiang (RIP). So we were able to pay off our debt and we were free of debt right from the beginning. Praise the Lord! 

When we started the whole project, we had little money. To be honest I was very reluctant to go ahead because I didn’t want to leave the Community with a big debt. Following the advice of the Psalmist, “Entrust your cares to the Lord, and he will support you” (Ps 55:22), we went ahead. I had many anxious moments and I prayed hard! St Joseph was a carpenter and a handyman, so I prayed to him a lot to look after our whole project. Now we have a big and functional Centre we call our home. It has helped to build up and unite our Community. There are those negative critics who would say why didn’t we add this or do that. But don’t forget. We started off with an empty pocket!

Chapel: The Chapel was not on our original plan. A Community member proposed for its inclusion. I was glad that we decided to include a Chapel. I find the Chapel to be a prayerful and peaceful place where we can experience the presence of the Lord.

Because others have been so generous to us, we should always be generous to other organizations in the use and hiring of our Centre. Sometimes we do not charge the full amount, depending on the type of organizations and the purpose for which they hire the Centre. Under certain circumstances we should not charge anything at all, e.g. organizations raising money for victims of floods, bushfires, regular Scouts meeting etc. Money should not be our main concern in dealing with others.

We all “own” the Centre. No individual, myself included, can make unreasonable regulations restricting the use of the Centre by our Community members. If this happens please let me know and we will discuss the matter. Legally the Corporation of the Archdiocese of Brisbane is the owner of the land and the buildings on it.

I am very grateful to Joseph and Ann who live in the Residence looking after the security and other matters of the Centre over the years. I have always appreciated their warm and welcoming presence. Joseph and Ann, a very big thank you from our Community! I hope that they will continue to stay there.

So keep casting our cares to the Lord, and he will support us!

In Christ,

Fr Albert Chan MSC

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