Coming to university I had many questions about my faith and was certainly searching for something. My parish priest said I should check out the University Chaplaincy, so at the beginning of term in first year, I went there for Sunday Mass. I found a chapel of young friendly people and welcoming chaplains. I enjoyed the sense of community and soon realised there was something special about the chaplaincy there. I wanted to know if this Catholic business was really for me or not.
Throughout this first year I gradually got a sense that my faith was becoming something important to me and that Catholicism was making more sense to me, although I realised I knew almost nothing about my faith.
The next year I moved in to live at Newman House, the central London chaplaincy centre. I was very excited about the whole experience and almost went overboard in terms getting involved in the life of the chaplaincy, going to every activity available.
Not only have I met genuine friends through the chaplaincy, but it has also convinced me that the Church truly is an incredible force for good in the world as well as having shown me parts of the church that I never knew existed like Youth 2000, the Faith Movement, Catholic Voices, etc. – all of which have subsequently strengthened my faith.
When I started at university, I was someone who wasn’t sure about the existence of God. I entered chaplaincy life and have become someone who enjoys going to daily Mass (I never thought I’d say that), and who has talked on TV about the ‘Joy of the Gospel’. Thank God for the chaplaincy. Without it, I don’t know where I would be today.