The blessing of the General Practitioner Centre, a joint venture of St Vincent’s Hospital & Australian Catholic University, at the Daniel Mannix Building, St Patrick’s Campus, A.C.U.

Wednesday 6 April 2016

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

The establishment of the G.P. Centre for Medical Care is a clear indication of the outreach which has continued for so long through Saint Vincent’s Hospital towards the people of Fitzroy. Now with the involvement of Australian Catholic University in this joint project it is an indication of how spiritual, physical and mental health care is so important as we seek to nurture all of our people.

We have all read stories of the pressures which operate in our society today; in families, some of which are undergoing huge challenges, and in the community. This certainly impacts very strongly upon our student population and what we can do to promote health and wellbeing is something which is significant now and for the future.

Saint Vincent’s has always existed for the health of the people of Melbourne and has reached out constantly in magnificent ways over more than one hundred years. More recently, the coming of Australian Catholic University to Fitzroy and the partnership in this G. P. Centre indicates how the University has a responsibility of care for the wonderful young people who come here to prepare for their way of life.

Both of our institutions are Catholic institutions and they rejoice in the view of personhood, which is endemic to our Catholic faith. Every one of us is made in the likeness of Christ with beauty and dignity and uniqueness. The gifts that we have, prepared by our parents, nurtured by community, school and university are unique in each person. A university exists to broaden our mind to the possibilities of learning, to the faith which gives meaning to that learning and to the eternal destiny for which our gifts are able to be used so well.

May I pay tribute in advance to the doctors and nurses who will staff this clinic and to their love and respect of people that will be shown so well. You have heard me say before that a good teacher is one who is not only master of his or her subject, but who has a unique ability to convey to their students in an interesting way the fact that they are interested in their subject and in those who come to learn, and they are encouraging and stimulating those who come to them.

Similarly, clinical care in medicine is so important and the developments of modern science in which Saint Vincent’s has shown such magnificent leadership are so important. However, what is unique in medical care is the ability to realise that we are caring for a person and that medicine reaches into all the needs of the person in a profound, human, spiritual and beneficial way.

This Centre is for me an occasion of great rejoicing because it says that our hospital is providing the very best of care. It says that our university is taking seriously the responsibility to care for all aspects of student welfare and thereby to promote the development of each into their chosen career.

May this place be a place of healing and comfort and mercy. May those who come here be understood, supported and come to wholeness and know that they are not alone if they face medical or other challenges. I thank Saint Vincent’s and Australian Catholic University for this signal act of leadership. It is the love of Christ, the charity which comes from him which leads us on.

+ Denis J. Hart,
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