His Excellency Archbishop Charles Brown, Papal Nuncio to Ireland will be the Guest of Honour of Bishop Seamus Freeman at a very special Mass in St. Mary’s Cathedral Kilkenny on Thursday 8th November. The occasion is the presentation of John Paul II Awards to more than 120 students, from Ossory secondary schools, in recognition of having completed many hours of service to their Church and community during the past twelve months.
The John Paul II Award was originally devised in the Diocese of Derry, and has spread throughout the country in recent years, with Ossory becoming the thirteenth diocese to take part. The Order of the Knights of St. Columbanus has generously funded the establishment of the award to each diocese that has joined the original project. The aim of the award is to recognise the wonderful contribution of these young people aged between 16 and 18 years to the activities of the Church in parish and schools, as well as to their community.
Depending on the number of hours involved, the participants will receive a gold, silver or bronze medal, which depicts the image of Blessed John Paul II, and which is inscribed with the following inspirational words from him:Trust Christ; listen attentively to his teachings, fix your eyes on his face, persevere in listening to his word. Allow him to focus your search and your aspirations, all your ideas, and the desires of your heart.
Participants who have achieved a gold award may choose to continue their service into a second year with a view to achieving a Papal Cross Award.
Young people aged between 16 and 18 who are no longer in full time education, but who wish to participate are also welcome to join the project and can be accommodated.
Bishop Freeman believes that the John Paul II Award is an excellent way for the Church and community to recognise and encourage the participation of our wonderful young people: “ I do believe that the introduction of the John Paul Awards to the Diocese of Ossory by the Knights of St. Columbanus will help to re-generate the sense of the Christian need to reach out to the many needs of our neighbours”.
The Ossory John Paul II Committee, chaired by Fr. Willie Purcell, is already inviting participants for 2012/13, and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information, you may wish to contact the committee or visit the John Paul II Award website at http://www.thepopejohnpauliiaward.com/