I come from a Catholic family and our beliefs are very important to us. We go to church every Sunday and we rely on our communities for support, encouragement, and communion.
One thing I was very worried about before coming to Boston was finding a place where I would be able to continue with my devotions. I researched online for the nearest churches and their service hours and felt a little discouraged to find that all of the churches were pretty far away from the campus and had no youth groups to be found. One day I decided to further investigate what services BU provided, and found that BU has a Catholic Center with a very active community I could get involved with.
The day we came to Boston, in one of our first sessions of orientation, they showed us a list of all of the different religious support programs BU has available for the students. Instantly I located the Catholic Center on the map and filed it in my mind to visit it at my earliest convenience. Two days later I found myself at the entrance of a beautiful Brownstone building with a red sign stating: BU Catholic Center. Once inside, I was warmly received by the most diverse group of people, of all ages and majors, all willing to be my friends, despite the fact that I had just met them. The instant I found my community, I felt like I was back at home. The Catholic Center, on 211 Bay State Rd, is open from Sunday to Friday from 9 to 9. It’s a lively place, where you can study, crash, meet up for lunch, play games, join the choir, participate in a bible study group, go on retreat trips with one of the Focus Missionaries, or have a good chat with our priest, Father Barns, and his dog Finnbar.
This has just been my case, but due to the multicultural environment of BU and to its high percentage of international students, there are numerous ethnicities, religions, and communities, all cohabitating and encouraged by the university. No matter what your religion, you can probably find a chapel, church, prayer room, etc. If you have religious dietary restrictions, there are numerous options at the dining halls, so you can avoid those ingredients you cannot consume. There is even a Kosher dining hall, where all meals are prepared in the Jewish fashion. I also know for a fact that there is a Muslim community and an interfaith prayer room at the GSU. For those of the Christian faith, Marsh Chapel is a very beautiful and quiet place in the middle of the chaos of the campus for prayer and meditation, open 24/7 to anyone, and with ministers available to chat any day.
All of these places are waiting for you with their arms open for you to join their communities. So don’t hesitate: take a leap, make new friends, and live your faith.