The Pope John Paul II Award is a faith achievement award for young people between the age of 16 and 18. It is non-competitive, inclusive, flexible and voluntary.
The Award enables participants to take an active part in the life of their Church – in the life of their community and society. It enables young people become more aware of the teaching and role of the Catholic Church in the world and to engage at a deep level with Christ.
The Award was created to commemorate the late Pope Saint John Paul II who was so committed to young people and who had such belief and confidence in them. The Award was launched by the Papal Nuncio to Ireland, His Excellency Most Rev Dr Giuseppe Lazzarotto on 7th November 2006 in the Diocese of Derry, Ireland.
Making young people visible in their church, community & society
The Award is committed to helping young people enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional and social development through participation in school, parish and community activities. As well as the feeling of personal achievement that a participant will gain from taking part in the Award, participation will help demonstrate the young person’s commitment to a task and goal.
Who is the Award for?
The Pope John Paul II Award is for anyone between the age of 16 and 18. The Award is run by the Diocese and is suitable for:
- Students in Year 13
- Students in full-time education who have completed GCSEs
- Anyone between the age of 16 and 18, not in post-primary education
The Award is non-competitive, flexible and voluntary and requires an ongoing commitment. Awards are earned by taking part in parish and social activities – 1 hour per week over 8, 14 or 20 weeks. There are 3 Awards – Gold, Silver & Bronze. Those that have completed the Gold Award have a further option of completing the Papal Cross Award.
Awards – Gold, Silver & Bronze
The Papal Cross Award
Those that have completed the Gold Award have a further option of completing the Papal Cross Award.
Who organises the Award
The Pope John Paul II Award is coordinated from its head office in Derry, Northern Ireland. It was created by Fr Paul Farren in his role as director of the Derry Diocesan Catechetical Centre.
Since 2006 has been been running successfully in schools and parishes throughout Ireland and the UK. It is now been actively promoted in the United States.
Running the Award in your Diocese
If your diocese is not listed as already running the Award, to establish it in your diocese will require the approval of the Award head office and your Diocesan Archbishop or Bishop. Contact your diocesan office directly and tell them about the Award.
Diocesan Award Structure
Once approved, the following structure will be required to be put in place to run the Award.
- Award Patron – The Diocese Bishop or Archbishop.
- Award Making Body – Pope John Paul II Award Committee.
- Award Leaders – Parish Coordinators, School Coordinators.
- Facilitators – Those who will facilitate the Award to fulfil individual tasks/activities.
- Promoters – Clergy, Head Teachers, School Governors.
- Administrative Centre – Your Diocesan Office.
Is my diocese running the Award?
There are 24 dioceses in Ireland and 3 in Britain running the Pope John Paul II Award. The Award coordinator in each diocese can be contacted for information on:
- participating in the Award;
- the parishes and schools involved; and
- leading the Award in your parish or school.
Click here to view the dioceses running the Award
How do Schools and Parishes enrol in the Award?
If your school or parish has not enrolled, you should ask a representative to contact the Central Office at:
Derry Diocesan Catechetical Centre
Telephone: 028 7126 4087 (from Republic of Ireland: 048 7126 4087)
or email: email@example.com