I became a Catholic because my parents are Catholic and my grandparents too. It was not my own decision to go to church, one that happened because of my family. It was interesting and kind of boring at the same time. On the one hand you have all this fancy stuff like the chalice and all the golden bowls which are very interesting for a young boy like me at this time. But you have on the other hand all the boring things like silence, kneeling and the speeches from the priest, anyway adult stuff. So church was something I did for my parents. This changed when I had my first holy communion. I became a membership of a great club. We have a secret high five with the priest, we get able to get the bread of Christ.

All in all, Mass became interesting for me. Very quickly after this I became an altar boy and a youth minister. I make a lot of friends there and it became a big part of my life. Experiences like Taize showed me that I need this faith in my life. Even when a lot of my friends are not Catholics, I have no problems with staying to my faith. Sometimes you need to be patient until they understand that it means not that you are uncool or boring and it will not stop you from living a normal life.

My faith is one of my things that gives my personality a ground and safeness. Maybe it’s not the biggest one, but I need all of them to be the person I am.  When I start youth work in my parish I began to go once a month to the mass on my own. That was great for me. Now I live in Castlerigg Manor and I have prayers daily and mass often. And it’s a new great experience for me to have this intense time with God and I enjoy it to find my self every morning and have time to practise my faith. When you ask me what I am…. I would say I’m a human, a Christian and a Catholic and I’m proud of all of it. I will know that God will be always by my side. And this gives me peace.     

Paul, 19, Keswick – Castlerigg Manor