The Pope John Paul II Award is dedicated to the memory of the late Pope John Paul II whose love of young people was so profound. The Award was launched by the Papal Nuncio to Ireland His Excellency Most Rev Dr Giuseppe Lazzarotto on 7th November 2006 in the Diocese of Derry, Ireland. The awards have been chosen by the Knights of St Columbanus as its National Project and have been financially supporting the Awards throughout Ireland.
The awards are designed for 16 and 18 year old’s living or going to school in participating Dioceses, the Pope John Paul II Award will enable them to become more actively involved in the life of their parish and community. Religion is not just for learning, nor a list of rules designed to stop young adults doing what they want. Religion is for living and through taking an active part in their church and community they will experience the contentment and fulfilment that comes from serving others, especially those in great need.
As well as the feeling of personal achievement that they will gain from taking part in the award, participation will help to show future employers and educators that they are young people who can make an ongoing commitment to a task. The award is non-competitive, flexible and voluntary.
The patron of the Award is the Bishop of Derry, Most Rev Dr Séamus Hegarty. Bishop Hegarty says: “the purpose of this initiative, ‘The Pope John Paul II Award’ is to enable young people to live their faith and to witness to that faith lived out in the parish community”.
Pope Benedict XVI said to all the Bishops of Ireland on Saturday 28th October 2006 – “even if Christian commitment is considered unfashionable in some circles, there is a real spiritual hunger and a generous desire to serve others among the young people of Ireland”.
For more information abouy the John Paul II Awards and participating dioceses please click here…