A gentle knock on the door

A former resident at Netherhall House, London recalls his memories of Pedro

January 10, 2024

Kim from Nairobi, Kenya

A gentle knock

I lived with Pedro in Netherhall House Residence while was in the UK for my postgraduate studies over academic year 2014-2015.
Although I was a little older than he was then, we got along very well. Being from Kenya I was not used to the English weather, and we used to joke about how he was going to lobby for the Residence to install additional heating in my room for me to survive through the London winter!
I saw Pedro’s deep faith, which he was eager to share with those around him. I remember that he used to attend early morning Mass at the Residence without fail, which I found fascinating. I am generally not an early riser unless exams or a deadline is imminent, and wondered how an under-grad could manage this and so consistently! On noticing that I struggled with this especially on the mornings he knew that I wished to attend Mass, Pedro would pass by my room on his way to the Chapel and gently knock on my door to see if I was awake and as a way of encouraging me to join him for Mass. This prompting often worked! I would get dressed and reach the Chapel to find that Pedro had been seated on the third pew from the back on the right side of the chapel deep in prayer. I noticed that Pedro was consistent in this for the entire time he was at Netherhall, surprisingly, even when he was ill.
The news of Pedro’s illness had a profound impact on the students of Netherhall that year. Most of us living with him were not aware of his condition until months after his diagnosis, for he was still as hard working and demanding on himself academically, while being his normal friendly and cheerful self all through. This made many of the residence curious as to how a person as young as we were, going through such a difficult situation as he was, could still radiated joy and light! When the Residence organized a Mass to pray for Pedro as his illness advanced, the chapel was jam packed! Many students began attending Mass more regularly from then.
I will always remember Pedro’s ‘gentle knock’ his genuine friendship and his profound example.

Nairobi, 10 January 2024