Papal Nuncio to Ireland Archbishop Charles Brown was in Kilkenny last week, to present over 120 students with the John Paul II award at a special ceremony in St Mary’s Cathedral.
The John Paul II award recognises the contribution of young people aged between 16 and 18 years to the activities of the Church in parish and schools, as well as to their community. It is a recognition for having completed many hours of service to their church and community during the past twelve months.
The awarding ceremony took place at 8pm last Thursday, facilitated by Bishop Seamus Freeman, following a mass in the cathedral.
Depending on the number of hours involved, participants received a gold, silver or bronze medal, which depicts the Blessed John Paul II, and 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.
The Ossory John Paul II committee, chaired by Fr Willie Purcell, is already inviting participants for next year, and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. For further information, contact the committee or visit the John Paul II Award website at www.thepopejohnpauliiaward.com.