A new space to ensure Brock students feel safe and comfortable expressing their faith on campus is set to open its doors next week.
With its previous DeCew office currently undergoing renovation, a new home for Brock’s Faith and Life Centre (FLC) has been set up in the Alphie’s Trough building on the edge of the Niagara Escarpment.
The FLC is home to several on-campus and adjunct campus chaplains who provide personal and spiritual guidance for students, while the building itself is used for various religious practices and quiet contemplation.
To raise awareness of the new location and available services, the FLC will be hosting a drop-in grand opening celebration Wednesday, Sept. 4.
“We want people to know this beautiful new area is open, that we are ready to host groups and work with partners throughout the University,” said Kailey Meehan, Assistant Roman Catholic Chaplain.
Christian Reformed Chaplain Zack DeBruyne hopes students of all backgrounds, regardless of religious identity, will feel at home in the centre and make use of the services available to them.
“We are excited to be in a large and inclusive environment where we can welcome all students to grow in their awareness of how faith shapes their lives, and to learn about and respect the diverse range of beliefs that other students hold,” he said.
DeBruyne hopes the FLC will also be a welcome space for those who are exploring their faith for the first time and others who are looking for a quiet place to think about life.
“There can often be a fear of religious sites, but we hope an event like this helps to ease some of those worries, to show this is a common place for people of all faiths and humanist traditions,” he said.
“The Faith and Life Centre is not just about faith,” said chaplain David Galston. “It specifically includes the word life to emphasize that our programs try to address and explore questions that arise in student life, including the critical knowledge students acquire in their chosen disciplines and the experiences of doubt, anguish and even disbelief that can arise when new knowledge is acquired at an advanced level.”
Renovations to the building will continue throughout the fall, with the addition of an accessible entrance and a foot-washing station on their way. Regular drop-in hours will continue throughout the renovations Monday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The FLC grand opening event will take place Sept. 4 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event will include refreshments, light snacks and a visit from University President Gervan Fearon.
To learn more about Brock’s campus chaplains and other available services, visit the FLC website.