Respect for those in need

An SVP group at the Universities of Manchester Catholic Chaplaincy

Butterfly coming to land on a purple flower

Today our Daily Offering looks to Saint Maria Goretti for inspiration to forgive. 

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I started my Pharmacology degree in September 2014 and was warmly welcomed to the Catholic chaplaincy on Oxford Road during Fresher's week. Events such as barbecues were planned to invite new students. It is an ideal place to socialise or study throughout the day and I quickly found it to be like a second home in Manchester.

Respect for those in need

Chaplaincy also provides a variety of opportunities for students to get involved outside of academic commitments, such as volunteering.  Since my first year, I have been involved in the SVP group within Chaplaincy which has allowed me to volunteer in a range of projects for people in need across Manchester. This has enhanced my appreciation for the importance of certain projects within our local area.

The spiritual reflection during the SVP meetings has allowed me to understand fully that our voluntary work is undertaken not out of sympathy for those in need, but out of respect. Volunteering has made me realise that I would prefer to pursue a career which involves working directly with people and helping those in need, rather than work in the pharmaceutical research field.

Matthew 25:40A wonderful way to start the day

The pastoral care offered at the Chaplaincy is fantastic and is something that has helped me enormously throughout my degree. Staff are always there to offer guidance and support, particularly during academically demanding times. I regularly attended morning prayer, followed by breakfast, during my final year and found it to be a wonderful start to the day. The prayers enabled me to offer my thanks and concerns to the Lord and breakfast always entailed great conversations with other students and the Chaplaincy community.

In second year, I participated in the week of guided prayer, offered to all students by the Jesuits. I will admit that I was a little hesitant at first, because I didn't consider my prayer life to be enriching enough for this workshop. But I actually found it to be very engaging and the daily one-to-one meetings throughout the week were hugely beneficial for my spiritual life. Following this workshop, spiritual direction with the Chaplaincy throughout my final year provided a better understanding of personal prayer, as well as academic advice and post-university career support and guidance.

A blessing for study

Manchester Chaplaincy offers so many other activities as well, from guest speakers to gardening, as well as weekly meals after Sunday mass. Weekend retreats to Freshfield , Merseyside offer a great opportunity to take a break from academic studies, reflect on the work in Chaplaincy and be surrounded by the peaceful beaches and nature.

The Chaplaincy library has been a blessing for studying, particularly during exam season when the University libraries are full. The atmosphere at Chaplaincy in general is always so welcoming. I have met some wonderful people and made many great friends. I will always be grateful for all the support and activities that have been offered. My spiritual life has developed with the help of the array of activities and guidance offered. 

Go Deeper

Katherine's experiences have fed her spiritually and guided her in decisions about her life. Here are two resources that could also help you with that.

Making the right choices, an Ignatian guide 

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