Bishop Tom Deenihan presented John Paul II Awards to young people from schools in the Diocese of Meath at the Cathedral of Christ the King on Saturday evening. See below for the presentation photos.

Young people of diocese receive John Paul II Awards

A number of young people from schools in the Diocese of Meath received John Paul II Awards from Bishop Tom Deenihan at the Cathedral of Christ the King in Mullingar on Saturday evening.

The Pope John Paul II Award is a faith achievement recognition for people age 16-18 that enables them to take an active part in the life of their church, community and society. The award was created to commemorate the late Pope Saint John Paul II, who had such confidence in young people. It was launched by the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, His Excellency Most Rev Dr Giuseppe Lazzarotto on November 7, 2006 in the Diocese of Derry.

The award helps young people enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional and social development through participation in school, parish and community activities. As well as personal achievement, participation helps demonstrate the young person’s commitment to a task.

The award is run by the Diocese. It is non-competitive, flexible and voluntary and requires an ongoing commitment. Awards are earned by taking part in parish and social activities, one hour per week over eight, 14 or 20 weeks. There are three awards – gold, silver and bronze, and those who have completed the Gold Award have an option of completing the Papal Cross Award.

At Loreto College Mullingar, the Ember team, a faith leadership team, were among those who received their John Paul II awards on Saturday.

The Ember team are TY and fifth year students who have given time to help promote faith involvement and activities in the school. They organise liturgies in November to remember the dead, during Lent and for feast day celebrations. They also organise an Easter quiz for first years, mixing faith with fun.

An example of how the students work with the local faith community is St Brigid’s Day, when the Ember team, with fellow TY students, organised ‘tea and crosses’ – they invited parishioners from the 10am Mass to the local Social Services centre to make St Brigid’s crosses and enjoy a social event.

For Catholic Schools Week, which is also a celebration of Mary Ward, patron of Loreto College, students other schools that share an ethos, Coláiste Mhuire and St Finian’s College, worked together.

“A collaborative approach to promoting faith in our parish is a fantastic way for young people to get involved and keep the good work going. All of us in Loreto College are proud of the girls for being awarded with this award,” said a spokesperson for Loreto College.

Other schools from Meath Diocese that participated: Scoil Mhuire, Trim, and St Ciarán’s Community School, Kells.