My secret place really isn’t a secret, but to most of the other students studying at Cambridge through the PKP program, it probably is. I have never seen anyone I recognize from the program here. This is a building that everyone has probably seen, but few have been inside. This place is my sanctuary, the way I start each day, and my home away from home. This place is Our Lady and the English Martyrs Catholic Church.
The church isn’t a secret in Cambridge with its tall gothic steeple that pierces the clouds, and it is a place I have come to call my own while I have been here. I come here every weekday at eight a.m. for Mass; the familiar words of the service help me to feel at home here. Similar to going to Mass during my first year of college, Mass in Cambridge is the stable force that has helped me to find my place in a foreign location. Through the Mass, I am able to connect with God through his Son Jesus and this helps me to find my way in unfamiliar places and circumstances. This time each morning centers my day and stabilizes my perspective on my day and on my life. Whenever I am feeling lonely, I can go to this place and take comfort in prayer and meditation.
This “secret” place has also been a place of growth for me this summer. I have grown in my faith, my zeal for the Lord, and my need for God. By being alone here in Cambridge, without the family or friends who root me in my faith at home, I have been inspired to find my own solace and hope in my Creator. My faith in a God who unconditionally loves me and always cares for me has been strengthened. This faith connects me to home and to the people I love because it is something I share with them.
The church is my home. It is a place I can go when I am struggling or when I am joyous. This is a constant source of comfort to me whenever I am traveling or am going through a time of change. God is not limited by place; He is anywhere and everywhere at the same time. Wherever I go, I will never be without Him. The Catholic Church is remarkable in its universality. The symbols, prayers, words, and rituals are the same at any Catholic Church around the world. I am reminded that wherever I go, I will have this special (if not secret) place.