Transcript: When I started my degree, obviously, I had a big culture shock. It was the issue of faith. I had never really thought about it. I used to separate my faith a lot from my personal vocation, like my professional vocation. I had never combined the two. Suddenly, I arrived at the university, which is a community where you live in an environment together, and both things came together. I encountered an environment that turned out to be very complex for defining your faith or for declaring that you are Catholic, or Muslim, or whatever.

There was an implicit rejection of faith, of anything that wasn't scientific. Astronomers often idolize science a bit too much, almost like a religion. That's what I felt from some of my professors, professors who almost worshiped scientific figures, that I respected a lot, but they took it to another level.

The environment was clearly not conducive for me to define myself as a Catholic. I spent all week with a group of people, and it was hard for me to talk about God or say that I went to Mass on Sundays. It was quite complex for me, and it was noticeable. If I ever mentioned it, there was a lot of tension.

Everyone knew that something was different about me because I wore a cross. They knew implicitly, but I remained very silent. I never gave my opinion on more complex issues like abortion or gay marriage. I usually kept quiet, thinking if I spoke, I would be judged harshly. Some people even faced consequences for their opinions, which made me even more afraid.

One day, I simply decided to stop hiding. I couldn't go on like that because I was enjoying life. I had discovered the pastoral group, and I wanted to share my experiences with my friends. These friends I had known for years, who I did university projects with… I wanted to share what I was doing. Gradually, I started sharing more, explaining why I missed lunch at the university because I was at Mass. Or why I had plans on Sundays, saying I had to go to Mass.

Gradually, this distanced me from some groups. I started to fit in less, and people contacted me less. The consequence was that when I started talking about God, many people left my life. It was quite hard at first; those first months were very difficult. I felt very alone, but gradually I realized that it might have been for the best, or I felt that God showed me it was the best for me. He distanced me from people who weren't positive for my life and brought me closer to people who were positive. He led me to a new community, the pastoral group, and thank God the Catholic Church provided a space that allowed me to continue developing as a Catholic and as an astronomer.

Today, I have my group of friends from the pastoral group, with whom I have a great time and whom I love very much. I also have my classmates from my degree, who are still there, who still care about me, and who respect me for who I am. They may not think the same as I do, but they respect me for what I believe, and we can continue working together in our field of astronomy.