Dec 31, 2018

Inspiration abounds at diocesan awards night

THE commitment and goodwill of 37 local teenagers has been recognised by Limerick Diocese in a very special night celebrating the John Paul II Awards.

The programme, which seeks to foster a sense of civic, community and Christian spirit in parishes, is now in its second year. Sr Patricia Coughlan through Scoil Pól in Kilfinane successfully piloted it last year.

It now includes parishes Abbeyfeale, Athea, Templeglantine and Tournafulla/ Mountcollins and schools Coláiste Íosa agus Iosef (Abbeyfeale) and Ardscoil Rís.

Last week 37 students received medals in honour of volunteer work undertaken in their communities and parishes. The awards are broken down into four categories – bronze, silver, gold and the Papal Cross – with the individual awards based on the level of volunteering students partake in.

The medal recipients included four bronze, four silver, 23 Gold and six Papal Cross. The Papal Cross award is given to students who have completed an additional 26 weeks of volunteering having already received a gold award.

Started in the Diocese of Derry in 2006, the awards were created to encourage young people to take an active part in the life of their Church and community and to commemorate the late Pope John Paul II for his commitment to young people.

Speaking at the awards ceremony in the Diocesan Centre in St Munchin’s, Bishop Brendan Leahy said he was delighted to hear the positive effect volunteering had on the students’ lives.

“This award event is a wonderful culmination of hours and hours of volunteering activities undertaken over the last year by the 37 young people. It is heartening to read their reflections and to get a sense of how they have been transformed in some way by the experience.”

Papal Cross Medal recipient Alannah Power from Scoil Pól said taking part in the programme transformed her outlook on life.

“Over the two years I’ve been involved with the awards I’ve tried an amazing array of activities that I wouldn’t have got to do otherwise. I can honestly say I have a whole new outlook on life. I have a great appreciation for my own life and without the awards I don’t think I would have. I’d be very different if I hadn’t done it,” she added.


Publication: Limerick Post (
By Alan Jacques - 31 Dec 2018