The main thing that I have discovered being a young Catholic today is that I am not alone. There is a whole world out there full of young Catholics just like me! At first I found it difficult to accept God into my life, due to all the negativity and questioning from friends, family and society; they didn’t seem to understand. But having the Diocesan youth service to fall upon has allowed me to embrace my faith, as we all have common ground. I have always found it difficult to achieve and it seems things don't always go to plan, but through my faith in God I know that this darkness will turn into light.

Five years ago I became ill; after having major surgery to become healthy again, I turned towards God. During those dark times, He encouraged me to stay strong and comforted me just how I needed. In 2014 I was asked by my parish priest if I wanted to go to Lourdes as part of the youth section. At first I felt anxious but now I am so grateful he put my name forward, it has completely changed my outlook on life and in turn changed me. It was one of the most inspiring experiences I have had, so therefore I decided to go again this year. Through this I have met some wonderful people that will hopefully turn into long term friends.

For that reason I would like to thank the youth service for introducing me to my new family, and I look forward to all the upcoming events in the next couple of weeks and months.

“For I know the plans I have for you” Declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” – Jerimiah 29:11.