The Interview: Megan Barzaq; [Augustinian Lay Community Member]
What do you find attractive about Augustinian spirituality? I like the focus on restlessness. Right now I didn’t have a fixed direction in my life, even with my degree in civil engineering, so without a set goal, Augustine’s continual searching really resonates with me.
What are some of the joy and struggles in the recently formed Augustinian Lay Community? It is great to live with four others who share my beliefs and to live our faith together. Perhaps one of the harder aspects is our morning temperaments. I would say only one out of the five of us is a morning person. But the prayer tends to cancel any grumpy morning blues.
Did you grow up in a Catholic Family? Not really. I grew up in Abu Dhabi in the Middle East. My Dad is Iraqi Muslim and Mum is English Irish Catholic. At Primary School I was always asked if I was a Muslim or Christian. So I asked my Mum what I was, and she said, “Both” and then added, “And you can choose which one when you are older”. At University I was received and confirmed in the Church at St Joseph’s in Broomhouse. The Parish became like a family to me and I became very involved there.
What recent work have you been engaged with at Austin Forum? A team of us have been on a tour of our parishes in Birmingham, Clare and Edinburgh. It was a mixture of visiting and training youth leaders, meeting young adults, promoting Austin Forum, as well as asking the parishioners to pray for us.
Where do you work to pay the bills? I work as a receptionist for the Jesuits in central London. Long term I would like to go into fundraising or development.
What would you like for Christmas? Well, I really like cooking and baking so kitchen gadgets always go down well with me. Or a copy of the Three Muskateers. I read a children’s abridged version when I was younger and I’ve seen a lot of film adaptations but I’d like to know what the original story is!