Yay for CathSoc on Freshers' Fair... this time, from behind the booth!

Having been to Freshers' Fair  and Refreshers' Fair for 2010/2011 as a visitor, I knew what to expect for this Freshers' Fair: a huge crowd of people looking to associate themselves with societies to let their identity stand out, as well as to find people who share similar interests. Only this time......... I was behind the booth!

Being one of the committee members (to be precise, secretary) of the UHSU Catholic Society, I was assigned, along with Peter, Gonçalo, Mark (Tanner), Michael (who left early), Sylvia and Fr Mark (Vickers). Our booth was at the exact same place as last year. Our task: reel in as many people as we could into the chaplaincy, just like any society would want to reel in potential members. Mark and I looked at each other at the beginning.

'How are we gonna do this?'
'I have no idea.'

I'll be frank, I'm very bad with PR. I can't even promote my own music for the life of me. It always takes someone else to discover something that I'm part of. So whilst Gonçalo and Fr Mark took the active approach, the rest of us took the passive stance. The only thing we needed to do was to welcome, from the depths of our hearts, anyone who wished to enter into the society, that they might find happiness therein.

Believe it or not, Peter reeled in a lot of people despite his passive approach; I reeled in at least five people and Mark at least two. Scooooooooore! (That is to say nothing about the people Fr Mark and Gonçalo reeled in...)

Some people tend to be very open and dramatic in promoting their societies, but for us, it seemed that we needed to just let people come. The thing about UHSU CathSoc is that it's not solely the activity that defines the society. It's the people. And because of this, when we could've gone out with trumpet blast, we didn't: we waited, and when the people came, they came, and they were intent on joining us. It was rewarding, having to meet new people, especially new students. It was rewarding, having to speak to them and encourage them to join us. It was indeed rewarding, even though for all the time I spent in the Forum, all I ever did was stand and walk, and stand and walk, and walk, and stand, and stand.... and even though I got chewing gum on my boots. TWICE. -___- As far as I know, we've been able to draw in two, probably three potential RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation in Adults) candidates for the next Easter. The other students who joined us were enthusiasting people who wanted to be part of something great. (We're yet to tell them that our alumni include a seminarian *coughcoughDamiancough* and a Student Ambassador and speaker in World Youth Day *coughcoughJo-Annecough*. And wow, won't they be proud to be part of the University of Hertfordshire when they hear all this.)

Like Refreshers' Fair 2011, another point I could think about was that every society from every end of the behavioural spectrum showed up. No society would want to be left out for the core event of Freshers' Week: Freshers' Fair Semester A. And as part of the pursuit for happiness, people associate with each other.

I remember last year, during Freshers' Fair... I was already bent on joining UHSU CathSoc, and I told myself that there would be no turning back. On that day, three people were manning the booth: Fr Mark, Damian and a somewhat unshaved Peter. I took video footage on my arrival to UHSU CathSoc's booth, and you might probably be able to tell my excitement from that post I linked to you above.

I spoke to Damian, who was as ready to challenge people as he was right up to the days before he left for seminary. He played devil's advocate back there, questioning me on why I believed in things the way they were. I wanted to give him my most sound answers, and so I tried. Well, we knew this was going somewhere. ^_^ After some question time, I filled in my details and handed them to Fr Mark. After a tour round the Forum (particularly the Auditorium), I returned to the CathSoc booth. I was drawn to them.

After that point, I was but a spectator of Freshers' Fair. But today, I was a promoter. I was in a completely different position from when I began. And I have no regrets. I absolutely enjoyed today, and the turnout was far more than we had expected. The amount of forms filling the feedback box just rose and rose. It was great. And by the end of it all, we rejoiced after a hard day's work. That afternoon was spent between four of us (Peter, Gonçalo, Mark and myself) with tea and drawing sessions in the presbytery, and adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Vespers (joined by Fr Mark) in church after that.

It was a great Friday. I'm looking forward to the first post-Freshers' Student Mass on Sunday. Wonder what that one holds for us?


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