On Monday 5, February, 2018 the diocese of Derry held their 11th Annual Pope John Paul II Award ceremony in the Millennium Forum, Derry City.
His Excellency Archbishop Jude Okolo, Papal Nuncio to Ireland and Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry presented the Pope John Paul II Award to 564 young people from all over the diocese of Derry and beyond.
If I am here today to participate in your achievement, it is to encourage you and it is to tell you that the Holy Father Pope Francis, who is a successor of John Paul II, supports you.” – Archbishop Okolo.
564 young people receive the Pope John Paul II Award
The 564 young people who received their Award came from 23 second level schools representing 49 parishes in the diocese and 16 parishes from outside the diocese. The Award was also presented to young people from Burnside Presbyterian Church.
Moville Community College
Scoil Mhuire Buncrana
Carndonagh Community School
Lumen Christi College
St Mary’s College, Derry
St Cecilia’s College
St Columb’s College
St Brigid’s College
St Joseph’s Boys’ School
Holy Cross College
Loreto Grammar School, Omagh
Sacred Heart College
St Colm’s High School, Draperstown
St Mary’s College, Clady
St Mary’s College, Limavady
St Patrick’s College, Dungiven
St Patrick’s College, Maghera
Parish of Ardstraw West and Castlederg
Parish of Dungiven
Parish of Strabane
Parish of Claudy
Young people speak of their experiences
The ceremony focused on the achievements, dedication and commitment of the young people gathered. Some young people shared their personal experiences of taking part in the Award through a short video filmed and produced by local filmmaker and past Awardee Sean Mullan.
Pupils from St Mary’s College, Derry; Crana College, Buncrana; St Mary’s College, Limavady; and Holy Cross College, Strabane spoke of how the Award allowed them to grow in confidence, make new friends, shape their career paths but most importantly become an active member of their parishes and local communities and provided them with the opportunity to see how their work positively impacted those around them.
The ceremony was attended by family and friends of those receiving the Award, school staff, parish groups, Award volunteers and invited guests. Entertainment was provided by the Longtower Folk Group and St Mary’s College, Derry’s Traditional Music Group.
Young people from The Marist School, Ascot, England receive the Award
7 students from the Marist School, Ascot, England participated in the Pope John Paul II Award through the Diocese of Derry. They were unable to attend the Award ceremony in Derry but their achievement was celebrated on the night and their Gold medals and certificates were despatched with the Papal Nuncio’s blessing.
Photographs from the Award ceremony
Group photographs from the night are published below as well as lots more on the Pope John Paul II Award Facebook page.
More photos on Facebook
Get involved in the Award
If you would like to get involved in the Award, please contact the Award coordinator in Derry, on 028 7126 4087.