Hi, my name is Misha. I was born in Ukraine and at a young age my parents got divorced, and my father died shortly after that. Life wasn’t very pleasant at the beginning and so much pressure for my mother. Apart from looking after me, my mum had to study, work and bring me up all on her own. It was a difficult time because sometimes I would have to be left alone or my mum would take me to university with her. At some point, our relationship became worse and I turned into a street kid, and started to do things that I am now ashamed of. My behaviour was quite bad, I didn’t study properly at school, and of course my mum did not like this, so we started to argue a lot and quarrel. Then my mother found out about a Christian organisation in Odessa with a daily drop-in centre for young people. I didn’t really want to go but my mother gave me no option. I would go there after school and I was helped to do my homework and make new friends and go on annual trips. This time changed my life because this was a Christian centre and this is where I discovered about God and thought about spiritual things deeply. I learnt how to pray and to read the Bible. Of course I had my ups and downs but I successfully finished school, and with the centre’s help I went to university. After graduating I wanted to do a gap year abroad in England and spent a year in Wolverhampton and then applied for a second year through an organisation called Time for God. This is how I ended up at Castlerigg. To be honest I did not know what would await for me at Castlerigg. When I arrived and went to my first MassI didn’t really know what was going on because I wasn’t used to Catholic worship as my background had been Orthodox and the centre which I belonged to was Protestant. At the beginning I would have none of it. I sat at Mass and waited for it to end, but I enjoyed the sign of peace. But gradually I began to accept it, but not completely until I went on a trip to London and ended up in Westminster Cathedral where something amazing happened. During the tour of the treasury of the cathedral, Mass had started in Latin and I stood on the balcony and looked at this Mass, and then I felt drawn to the Mass, and so I sent my other friends away for lunch. I joined in the Mass. This was something so new for me and during the Mass, I felt completely at peace and fully content and I just wanted to stay there and I was just happy. After I returned to Castlerigg, I told this story to the Castlerigg team and they were quite amazed by this change of heart. The priest here has told me that our faith is all about the Mass, and after celebrating the Easter mysteries, I cannot imagine myself without Mass at all.