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.”
A message from the Archbishop of Birmingham
These words of Pope Francis to the young people of the world were given at the closing Mass for World Youth Day 2013 in Rio de Janeiro. They remind us how important young people are, and how valued their contribution to the life of the Church is today. As we are only too well aware, standing out and being a witness to our Catholic faith is not without its challenges, but as Pope Francis suggests, the more we share our faith with one another, the brighter the flame of faith glows within our own hearts, and in the hearts of those to whom we pass it on.
The Pope John Paul II Award was established in thanksgiving for the life of Blessed Pope John Paul II, who was such a keen supporter of and believer in young people, and of the gifts and talents that they so generously bring to their parish communities. Through this Award, I know that our young people will be encouraged to reflect on their relationship with Jesus Christ more deeply, knowing that our Lord will also enable them to participate fully in the life of the Church and the world which we are all called to serve.
Pope Francis reminds us that Jesus is calling each of us to be a disciple with a mission, and he gives us three simple ideas of what the Lord is saying to us: Go, do not be afraid, and serve. I believe that the Pope John Paul II Award offers the young people of our diocese help and support in taking up the challenge of Pope Francis, and in discovering the joys that our faith so readily gives.
With my prayers and every blessing.
Archbishop of Birmingham
The Award in the Archdiocese of Birmingham
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.
Archdiocese of Birmingham 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
Each year many people from the Birmingham Archdiocese travel to Lourdes at Whitsun to care for people with illness and disability. These people need special care while in Lourdes and volunteers are always needed to give them that care. It may be pushing their wheelchair or just accompanying them. Working in Lourdes with the diocesan groups can be part of this Award.
There are other Diocesan pilgrimages. These pilgrimages can also be considered as Award Top-Ups.
Trips lasting four days or more to work on specific projects, such as orphanages in Romania or home building in Africa.
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.
The Award handbook explains in detail how the Award is run and who is responsible for running the Award in your diocese.