My name is Rebecca (but everyone knows me as simply ‘Becca’) and I’m now in my 2nd year studying Earth Sciences at the University. My first year in Catholic Oxford has been very enriching: the welcoming Chaplaincy community swiftly led me to joining the Newman Society committee as their Social Secretary for 2019. These two groups have been a great source of joy, laughter and spiritual encouragement that have truly supplemented my academic life.
While the Newman Society and Chaplaincy are principally separate, they are quite intertwined. This is fortunate as it means life in Catholic Oxford is very well connected – you’ll have so many friends that share your faith and can support you in it. Until arriving into the warmth of the place, I hadn’t found friends who were both Catholic and somewhat my age. To me, going to church on Sunday at home felt more of a chore, even though I appreciated being brought up a Catholic. The Chaplaincy in Oxford is what made me feel the deep importance of community. No longer was Mass simply something to be checked-off as having attended on any given Sunday; it was something I wanted to go to. In fact, now sometimes I’ll go more than once a week – I’ve found the weekday morning student Masses (with subsequent breakfast!) are a really beautiful and productive way to commence a busy day.
The apparent infectiousness of spending time in the Chaplaincy has only been elevated by my involvement on the Newman Society committee. As Social Secretary, this year I’ve organised a multitude of social events. Amongst these have been a quiz night; fancy dinners like our end-of- year Sacred Heart, black-tie, five-course dinner; drinks evenings, and our fabulous Mardi Gras Cèilidh. Arranging each tends to yield a fine line between excitement and a (healthy) amount of stress but the result is always a roomful of happy faces, copious amounts of wine and a thoroughly enjoyable evening.
I’m really anticipating getting back into the cosy Chaplaincy life – it truly allows me to step out of the bubble of Oxford study and enter into another, much more tranquil realm. That said, it is the inherent, underlying link between my subject and faith that drive my desire to study the Earth more deeply; the Earth that is so wonderfully and intricately made by Our Father. So, in supplement to my studies, this term I’m particularly looking forward to the line-up of Thursday NewmanSoc talks, the animated fanfare that is the President’s Dinner, and the spiritually enhancing Chaplaincy trip to Barmouth. What’s more, I’m excited to meeting all those newcomers to the Chaplaincy with whom I can expand and develop my faith.
Rebecca Galbraith, 2nd Year Earth Sciences, Univ.