On Thursday 10 November, 2016 at the Inn at Dromoland, Co Clare a crowd of over 400 hundred people gathered to witness the third annual presentation of the Pope John Paul II Award in the diocese of Killaloe. Bishop Fintan Monahan, Bishop of Killaloe and Tom McEvoy of Pieta House presented 134 young people from across the diocese with their Award.
Bishop Monahan welcomed the young people to the event, along with their families, school teachers, principals and chaplains, and representatives of the various diocesan youth bodies including Father Gerard Jones, Diocesan Co-ordinator for the John Paul II Awards.
Speaking to the young people receiving their Award, Bishop Monahan said, “This is a wonderful occasion. It is recognition of your dignity, the gifts that you have, and the way in which you use them and a pointer to your generosity of spirit.”
He continued, “Over the past few months since I came to Killaloe I have heard of the very significant contribution which you yourselves have been making in so many ways throughout the length and breadth of the Diocese of Killaloe. I have heard of the way in which you have presented various aspects of your local Church as members of transition years, the great pride that you take in your local Church history, the books of prayers and projects that has been published by yourselves, the many pilgrimages you have embarked upon at home and abroad, the choirs you have joined, the nursing homes that you visited, the joy and hope that you brought to residents through your good humour, your music and song. At Mass and in the Sacraments many of you have been reading as ministers of the Word, others have accompanied young people as they were preparing for Confirmation in the programme ‘You Shall Be My Witnesses’; you have been role models for younger people who look to you for direction.”
“You have now shown that you are a person who has taken responsibility and is capable of taking on even greater responsibility in the Church. I rejoice in this. I welcome you and I want you to know that the Church welcomes your ideas, your youthful energy, your faith and the hope that you have in your heart. I want you to know that you are very valued members of a team here in the Diocese of Killaloe, in your own family, your school, your parish.”
Bishop Monahan again congratulated the young people of the diocese on their achievements, and thanked all involved in organising the awards, especially the Knights of St Columbanus for supporting the Award across Ireland. He concluded his message by offering a ‘prayer’ written by Bob Dylan:
May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come through,
May you always do for others
And let them do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung.
And may you stay forever young.
The Award was launched in Diocese of Killaloe in 2013
The Pope John Paul II Award is run in 21 Irish dioceses and 2 in the UK. It was launched in the diocese of Killaloe in 2013 with the valued and valuable support of the Knights of St. Columbanus. Each young person taking part in the Award chooses to get involved in parish life as well as participating in social awareness activities in their locality.
Get involved in the Award in Kilmore
If you want to get involved in the Award in the Diocese of Killaloe, you can find information and Award resources on the Killaloe Award website