New awards to encourage social action and parish links by young people

An awards scheme has been launched in the Diocese of Cork and Ross which will recognise the social action of young people and help them connect with parish.

Launching the scheme at two events in the diocese Bishop Fintan Gavin invited the schools and parishes of the Diocese of Cork and Ross to take part in the scheme.

The Pope John Paul II Awards are named after the Polish Pope who was the first pope to visit Ireland in 1979 and this is the first year that the local diocese has officially participated in the awards which are also run nationally.

Parishioners of all ages attended two launch events in the Parish Centre, Blackrock, Cork, and in the Parish Centre, Clonakilty, Co Cork.

The award is non-competitive, flexible and voluntary and requires an ongoing commitment from the participant.

It is designed for young people between the age of 16 and 18.

Organisers say that through the Pope John Paul II Award, young people in the Diocese of Cork and Ross will be enabled to take an active part in the life of their Church, in the life of their community and society and also become more aware of the teaching and role of the Catholic Church in the world. This will enable young people to engage at a deep level with Christ, whose body the Church is.

It will also allow young people to understand that religion and faith is not just for learning, nor is it a list of rules, but that it is for living.

The awards programme across the country is supported by the Knights of St Columbanus – a Catholic lay organisation which promotes social action.

For more about the Awards see