Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Memories: Alumni

Over the past 40 years Newman House has been home to a large number of students from around the world. Today, it is usual to have residents from over 20 countries resident for a full year at a time.

We are always very happy to welcome former residents when they pop by for a visit, sometimes just for a quick look around, at other times joining us for Mass. We always try to invite visitors to put together a few short memories that we can share with those who are interested; some do, and here are a few nuggets we have received recently:

The Chaplaincy was opened by Bruce Kent in 1966, and was not initially welcomed
by the CathSoc members. I was chair at that time, and we, the committee, arrived back in the Autumn term to find we had moved from St Patrick’s in Soho Square to this new premises, and had acquired a new chaplain. We were cross that we had neither been informed nor consulted, but quickly settled down to life in a more purpose-built premises (student hostel with lots of social rooms and, importantly, a bar! Since the previous centre had been a regular parish, and our social rooms had been in the parish school across Soho Square, this was clearly better.

The Gower Street chaplaincy was, for me, a significant place in my journey to the present time, since I am still in the justice and peace line of things. There were important events and encounters at St Patrick’s, Soho Square, prior to that, but 111 Gower Street remains a significant place for me.

Barbara Kentish, Resident 1966-7
And another:

I would like to thank you for the incredible year which I spent living at Newman House 1999-2000. It was a deeply formative and unique time in my life. Living as part of a lively and intelligent faith community was awesome in helping me to understand my relationship with God, and other Newman House denizens and friends. I often think fondly of my time at Newman House. It was a precious time in my life.

Melanie Cournay-Holt (nee Rigg), Resident 1999-2000

If you have reminiscences you would like to share, please send
them to alumni@universitycatholic.net – we would love to hear from you.

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