Wednesday, May 16, 2007

A resident reflects...

Well, we've had lots of reminiscences from Alumni, but here is a reflection from one of our current residents on life in Newman House.
"I Think I’ve Just Seen Jesus in My Morning Muesli"
That Saturday Morning the sun seemed ridiculously bright and obnoxious. Perhaps the fact that it had proved impossible to sleep on the plane and that I was hideously jetlagged had something to do with it. That, or maybe because I was lugging my life behind me in the form of three impossibly-heavy, incredibly bulk pieces of matching, moss-green luggage. As I struggled along the pavement blinking futilely against the incessant sunshine, I carefully repeated the address that would be my home for a year: 111 Gower Street.

Eight months later, that day seems like a lifetime ago. The initial apprehension that I harboured that Newman House would be a religious mental institution melted away as soon as I met my fellow residents. Here I found fellow Catholics (and a few non-Catholics, too!) who were just as normal as I. Only they were unique in two respects: everyone was all uncommonly kind and friendly and all held a desire to develop a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God. In the words of one visitor to the House, I had stumbled upon, “a Catholic oasis in the middle of London.”

After slathering black current jam onto countless lightly-toasted slices of bread in the breakfast room, praying during adoration in the chapel, or extinguishing the flames of “well done” steaks in the kitchen, an amazing camaraderie developed. Oftentimes such situations have borne intellectually provoking religious discussions. The fruit of such conversations and the unassuming examples given by fellow students to one another has encouraged all residents to seek closer communion with the Lord. This phenomenon has proven to be one of the most precious aspects of life in Newman House.

While I may not have witnessed any religious apparitions while staying at Newman House, living across the street from Charles Darwin’s former residence, has been an amazing experience for me. Not only have I grown in my faith, but I have made friends with incredible people and have shared extraordinary experiences that I will look back on fondly for years to come. When that day arrives when I will once again be seen trudging along the London pavement unsuccessfully dragging my now heavier moss-green suitcases behind me on my way to my next adventure, I predict that my vision will once again be blurred; but, it will not be due to the sun shining in my eyes.
Claire Popovich

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