Thursday, June 25, 2009

A Jesuit Bartender

Over the years I have heard of priests serving as bartenders and was not surprised to hear we have a Jesuit who is doing just that in a cafe in our diocese. This priest gave an account of this in an article that I would like to summarize.

He was taking his studies for the priesthood in Australia where his own Jesuit Superior was serving at the tables at the house in which he was staying. Another experience at that time, the abbot at the Trappist Monastery in which he was staying was also setting up the tables and serving. Seeing this kept the dream that he had of doing that after ordination to the priesthood.

Our Lord shared many meals with others and after these meals something good always happened. The Jesuit wanted to welcome others as God welcomes us and the place that he could do this was a cafe. He mentioned our Lord was considered a wine drinker; to be noticed as such meant that he spent a great deal of time in table fellowship. Jesus was always welcoming and this was the example that motivated him to start his cafe. He called it: Window on life. This translation of the name may not have the nuance of the original, hopefully it will have the meaning.

Those who come to the cafe know that he is a priest which means it does not take long to get into a serious conversation about things that are important. He can talk about joy and sadness of life, frustrations, desires, and also the anger. When he shares their joy he is doubly joyful when they talk about their problems they can be lighten by the very sharing.

The life of a priest is serving . He serves the Eucharist to those that attend Mass and goes to the sick to serve them with the Eucharist.

There are many times when the Catholics who come find it difficult to have a priest serving them and they help out in bringing food and drink to those present. He tells them that they should allow themselves to be served this is also virtue.

There are many ways of trying to do mission. To bring the love of Christ to all is the heart of mission and running a cafe is a way to do this in a very unique way. May the work be blessed.