WORLD Youth Day is an event organised by the Pope every two to four years in which all the young people within the Catholic Church are called throughout the world to one place, to come and celebrate their faith and love for Jesus Christ in an open environment.

This year World Youth Day was held in late August in Madrid where there were over two million Christians gathered to celebrate Mass with the Holy Father.

Amongst this sea of people were 18 youths and leaders from our parish of St Luke’s.  It would not have been possible for these young people to make it to Madrid had it not been for the generosity of the people of our parish and those of other parishes of West Belfast. Solely through their kind donations we raised over £6,011 through selling ballots for which the shop owners in the Dairy Farm donated vouchers or products. We would like to sincerely thank the following: Truly Fare, Mirage, Wee Buns Café, Envy Hairdressers  and the Paint Stall and also a big thanks to Eamon and all the staff and customers of Super Value who allowed us to bag-pack four times enabling us to collect a total of  £1,500. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the Lord Mayor of Lisburn, Cllr Brian Heading, who also gave a donation on behalf of Lisburn City Council.

Lastly, but most importantly, I would like to sincerely thank the Parish Priests of St Luke's, St Michael's and St John's – Fr Brian McCann, Fr John Murray and Fr Paul Strain respectively – for allowing us to speak and collect outside their churches.

Bernie Norney,

Member of St Luke's NC Fundraising Committee