We never officially met, not that either of us can remember. Our shared interests pushed us together from the start: both Catholic, musical enough to join the CSU choir and by coincidence, both in the Swing Dancing Society.
Before long, we discovered a shared interest in cooking as well, and we gradually fell in love over numerous midweek meals and perfect, crispy-skinned baked potatoes. We became a couple the day after May Ball 2015, during that lovely time of year when George Square is covered in bluebells.
The most wonderful thing about being with someone who shared our key beliefs and values was that although it took some time to get to know each other, any smaller differences we had in tastes, experiences and preferences simply did not matter as much. In fact, soon enough we were more comfortable with each other than with anyone else. Within a few months, we knew that someday we would be married.
During our three CSU years together, some of our memories include carolling with the Choir on Princes Street one freezing December evening, writing quizzes for Sunday after-Mass events, spending our first Easter Sunday together playing cards in the garden room, and of course, of course, those wonderful black-tie events. There’s no bonding experience quite like dancing the ceilidh together well into the night, knowing you’ll have to be back at 9am with the rest of the committee to clean up! Yet the greatest memory is that of getting married on 1st June 2019 in St Albert’s chapel, the very place that brought us together.
The chaplaincy has felt like home right from the beginning. A large part of that is the chaplains and the warm environment they continue to cultivate. Special thanks goes to Fr Dermot, our first “wingman” and officiant who has been with us always, Fr John for his unwavering kindness and tips on making soup (a marriage staple!), Fr Lawrence for his wise words and baked potato recipe (another marriage staple!), Fr P.D. for teaching us to find joy in ordinary things, Fr Irenaeus for his many memorable sermons and teaching us about love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Finally, thank you to Lilian for being a source of ever-constant support but also such a great inspiration in life. Now there’s a small piece of the chaplaincy with us wherever we go in the world. It says so on our marriage certificate, so it must be true!
Benedict Harris was a student from 2013-2017 and Gabriela Harris, née Góralczyk was a student from 2014-2018 and a former CSU President ('17-'18). They are both working for the UK government and is now based in England.