On Monday 21 November, 2016 the diocese of Achonry held their 1st Pope John Paul II Award ceremony ... read more
The Pope John Paul II Award
The Pope John Paul II Award encourages you to go beyond your comfort zone on a journey of self-discovery. It challenges you to give of your time, your talents, your intellect, and your social skills for the well-being of others and for the Glory of God.”
Message from the Bishop of Achonry
If as church and parish community we facilitate the young people in coming to Confirmation, then we have a serious obligation to call them afterwards to actively live out their confirmation, and to help them to do so. This, it seems to me, is where the Pope John Paul II Award can come in.
The post-confirmation years for the young person are years of great energy and great eagerness to be involved in the world, and especially in the local community and church, in a more mature and adult way. We need our young people with their many gifts and great enthusiasm in all our parishes, and what a difference it would make to our parishes if they were involved and active. The ancient Confirmation hymn 'Veni Creator Spiritus' (Come Holy Spirit) contains the line - ‘You in your seven-fold gifts are known': known when our actions and lives show forth wisdom, understanding, right judgement, courage, knowledge, reverence and wonder and awe in God’s presence.
So it is with a sense of opportunity and great hope that I welcome this initiative in the Diocese, and I thank the teachers, priests and particularly the Knights of Columbanus who have been instrumental in introducing the Award to us. Go raibh beannacht Dé go fial ar an saothar seo don óige sa deoise.
Bishop of Achonry
The Award in the Diocese of Achonry
There are 4 Awards - Gold, Silver, Bronze & Papal Cross
Each Award is completed over a 16 month period beginning at the start of the academic year.
Awards are earned by taking part in parish and social activities – 1 hour per week over 8, 14, 20 or 26 weeks.
Those that have completed the Gold Award have a further option of completing the Papal Cross Award.
Diocese of Achonry Award Top-Up Suggestions
Top-Ups will go towards the total number of hours an individual has to complete.
Gold: 6 hours
Silver: 4.5 hours
Bronze: 3 hours
Top-Ups can be achieved in a number of ways, for example:
Any student who takes part in at least a one day retreat will be eligible for an Award Top-Up.
Each year young people from the diocese travel to Lourdes. Travelling as part of this group or volunteering as a member of the pilgrimage team can be part of this Award.
On a number of occasions during the year, the Office of Youth Ministry will organise youth activities such as participation in the diocesan pilgrimage to Knock, Knock Youth Summer Festival, other regional and national Catholic Youth Events, Youth Retreat Days or other pilgrimage activities. Participation in these activities can be part of the Pope John Paul II Award.
Many third level students undertake humanitarian trips to Third World countries during their summer break. These trips can also provide an opportunity for Top-Ups for the Pope John Paul II Award.
World Youth Day
World Youth Day is an international festival of Catholic faith organised every three years. Young people who travel to this wonderful event and participate in the preparation programme will be eligible for an Award Top-Up.
There may be other activities that you are involved in that are not included here but may be relevant, if so please contact the Pope John Paul II Award Committee for approval at Achonry Youth Ministry, The Presbytery, Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon.
The Award handbook explains in detail how the Award is run and who is responsible for running the Award in your diocese.