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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.”

The Pope John Paul II Award enables participants to take an active part in the life of their Church – in the life of their community and society. It also 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 is committed to helping young people enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional and social development through participation in school, parish and community activities.


I feel very privileged to have met Saint John Paul II (1920-2005) on a number of occasions during the time I studied in Rome. I was also present at some of his many memorable World Youth Day gatherings. He had an enormous heart for young people and a keen sense that young people were the future not only of the Church but also of humanity itself. At World Youth Day in Rome in 2000, he spoke movingly to almost three million young people from all around the world as follows:

“It is Jesus in fact that you seek when you dream of happiness; he is waiting for you when nothing else you find satisfies you; he is the beauty to which you are so attracted; it is he who provokes you with that thirst for fullness that will not let you settle for compromise; it is he who urges you to shed the masks of a false life; it is he who reads in your hearts your most genuine choices, the choices that others try to stifle. It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be grounded down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.” (John Paul II, Tor Vergata, 2000)

The Pope John Paul II Award has been designed to assist young people in deepening their Christian faith which inspires us to “do something great” with their lives. Saint John Paul was convinced that life is enriched not impoverished by being a Christian. The young people who partake in this award are young people who, in his words refuse to “be grounded down by mediocrity”. They are young people who have the courage to commit themselves to improving themselves, their parishes, and society and thereby “making the world more human and more fraternal.”

I thank everyone involved in the organisation of this award. I encourage as many young people as possible, throughout our Diocese to take part. My hope and prayer is that they may bring great blessings to all involved.

+ Michael Duignan

Bishop of Clonfert

For Further Information and Application Forms Contact Ms Mary Keegan-Hynes 087 9453304 email

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