I had been baptised but not a practising Catholic.

I come here first because I wanted to realise another experience abroad before I find a good job in Tenerife.  I had been first in France and after in Belgium doing Erasmus.  I really enjoyed and I wanted to do again something abroad.

I was scared about it, because it was a Catholic centre and I didn’t use to practise. I’m a person that really likes go to the party, drink, have fun with friends and more worried about when is the next party or to have fun than spent time praying. I still like a lot to dance.

I thought that this experience could change my mind and give me something really different to my life. I saw this experience opposite that I used to do In Tenerife where I come from.

And this experience did it, this experience has changed my life. First for the fear of the dead that we can have, the time pass so quickly and we wondering about our existence and that experience in faith have give me a hope for now and for the future. To appreciate the gift of each day of my life and to be confident now and after death when we will meet God as well.

My first days and even last ones in Castlerigg were difficult, each day we have had challenges to do with young people and so many activities to manage. First really hard because my tiny knowledge about the English and more even about the Bible.

When sisters ask me about my faith I could feel pressure about that because I know  that they were reallyCatholic and I wasn’t, I didn’t know anything about the Bible. (Or maybe I did without know about it)

I didn’t want that they didn’t love me because I wasn’t believing in God.  All the morning we went to the mass, I didn’t know how to pray in English, I didn’t know what supposed to be done.  In the work I couldn’t speak with the people, with my colleagues.  I have learn to be strong and to appreciate my brothers and our differences. And I remember beautiful moments when I was crying in my first confession or watching people praying and crying...and the community it was there to help me always.

In moments really hard when I have felt very sad another volunteer give me a piece of paper saying: keep going, be strong, God is with you wherever you go.  I too much appreciate this message and thats help me to keep going.

I was really glad and happy when volunteers show me love and at the same time I was doing questions about God, I wanted to know how these people believe in him, I wanted to understand the Church, their believes. It was really hard to understand the Bible in English so when I had the opportunity to go to Tenerife I had bring with me the new testament in Spanish.  I have to speak about my faith to my family and my difficulties but I came back plenty of energy.  I was trying to understand more about God because I had to speak about him.  How I’m going to speak about faith if I don’t have?  I started to approach to sisters doing morning reflection and nights prayers together for the young people. They command me to pray at the same time at it was more easy like that. Practising in prayer, reading the Bible is get advice to the Lord when you are in need.

I have decided to be confirmed because when I saw how it was the life of Jesus what was his philosophy I have think that his way it was right, welcome people, love your neighbour, humble, forgiveness, help...and much more important values.

But I have struggled with my faith a lot of times, to think more about the commandments.  I was scared being confirmed because I respect the religion and I wasn’t sure about go to the Church all the Sundays.

So people tell me please don’t force yourself if you are not ready to be confirm don’t do it and that make me so happy so happy because I have felt the freedom about if you are not ready to take the step you don’t do it we still loving you. And they have explain me as well that Christians are not perfect and if you see the commandments all are good things. I was struggle with the Lord is the truth but for me is because God is Love, and go to the church help you to reflect and to think about what you do in your life, and that is important because we are important. We need to spent time with ourselves and with our Father who always love us. If we want to please him we will be more happy because we are pleasing ourselves as well.

And don’t be worried about the sins that you have done God always forgive you when you are sad and only keep trying.

After this words, and love, and really don’t know about the future, my problems and cry in the chapel, the support of the team and the spent time about God think about what was wrong in my life and how to change it, I have done confession and I have felt so happy so happy. I couldn’t explain with my words and all that I can say now in this beauty celebration of my confirmation is. Thank You Castlerigg Manor for all the gifts that you have bring me in my life I will keep in my memory this experience all my life and I will come back. I did confirmation the 10 of July and the Bishops come to do it and I believe in the Almighty God and in his help. Thank you so much... love and prayers.

Sarita Gregoria.