Being a young Catholic today can often be a struggle in a world where increasingly more people do not associate themselves with any religion. In today’s society, where Facebook ‘friends’ can often be seen as a measure of a young person’s popularity - I believe that the value of true friendships can often be underappreciated. Despite attending both a Catholic primary and high school, very few of my closest friends were actually Catholic and I would often worry that Catholics were a dying species! However, over the past couple of years- through attending a local youth group and going on pilgrimage to Lourdes twice (amongst other things); I have met many other young Catholics who I would say are some of my closest friends. These friendships are invaluable to me as nothing is better than knowing that they are there to offer their prayers and support during tough times. It is these friendships that have kept (and are keeping me going) throughout the challenges that life throws and I feel incredibly blessed to have such amazing friends as them in my life.

Anna, 18, Preston