Prayer given by ACAA President, Reverend ROBERT Flannery at The American College Grand Opening on October 6, 2015
God of all time and generations,
We thank you for the life and faith you give us in every land, time and place.
In particular, we praise you for the long and noble heritage of The American College of Leuven/Louvain which first opened its doors in the year, 1857.
We give you thanks for the generosity of the Belgian people who for over a century and a half have welcomed and hosted seminarians and others to thrive at this historic institution with its excellent university: first, with its primarily European students preparing to serve as missionaries to the still developing United States of America; then, with numerous American seminarians living and studying in this remarkable country in order to return home well equipped with visionary philosophical and theological backgrounds as well as practical pastoral skills; and finally, in this new and present age, with a variety of Belgian, American and other international students, who now live here in various forms of community while they learn and grow in countless areas of study, immersed in this inspiring academic and cultural setting.
As we gather here today for the Grand Opening Celebration commemorating the completion of these fully renovated, time-honored collage of buildings, courtyards and gardens, housing its new mission and purpose, we ask your blessing as we move forward together, grateful for the past achievements of those who lived here before, lifting up in prayer all those who reside here now and those who will dwell here in the future. Bless them, as well as all those who have been involved with and made possible the renovation of this physical structure, and also those who have been charged with developing and maintaining the new goals, direction and objectives of The Amerikaans College (American College) at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven , the Catholic University of Leuven—KU Leuven.
We ask you to bless our countries and their leaders. Thank you for the American people who courageously defended and graciously helped rebuild this city, country and continent throughout two world wars. Bless all of us as we together strive to promote your Kingdom in our midst, for we are indeed called to be a people of faith, dwelling in charity and peace, desiring a common hope to work side-by-side for a better world. We ask you to keep us open to the signs and needs of the times, willing to change and adjust as circumstances demand, always being guided by your Holy Spirit in our response as your faith-filled disciples.
We offer our prayer in the name of your son, our brother and savior, Jesus Christ, and through the intercession of his mother, Mary Immaculate, the Seat of Wisdom. Saint Damien of Tremelo and Molokai—Pray for us!
And let all the people say, Amen! (with hands lifted up)-- Amen!
Opening Prayer American College October 6 2015
1. Welcome (J. Haers)
2. Taizé song – Wait for the Lord
3. Opening prayer (Fr. Flannery)
4. Gospel (Marcus 14, 22 – 26) (read by Fr. Flannery in English – Dutch translation on leaflet)
5. Reflection (J. Haers)
6. Intercessory prayers in English and Dutch (introduction J. Haers)
a. Saint Damien Community
b. Mater Dei Community
c. University Parish Community
d. Presidium student
7. Taizé song – Bless the Lord
8. Lord’s Prayer (introduction by Fr. Flannery – everyone can pray in his/her own language)
9. Blessing in English and Dutch: Fr. Flannery and J. Haers alternating
10. End (J. Haers)
11. Taizé song – Ubi caritas et amor
Celebration after the Grand Opening Prayer Service