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JPII Award

The Award was created to commemorate the late Pope John Paul II who was so committed to young people and who had such belief and confidence in them.  Through the Pope John Paul II Award, young people in the Limerick Diocese 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 allow young people to understand that religion and faith are not just for learning, nor are they a list of rules, but that they are for living. 

The Bishop of Limerick, Brendan Leahy, wrote the following letter to those young people who are participating in the Pope John Paul II Award.  


"I am delighted to introduce the Pope John Paul II Award in the Diocese of Limerick.  When we celebrated the Synod in 2016, we agreed it would be good to introduce this award because it provides a structure for young people to explore practical ways in which they can play an active role in their parish and also become more aware of their community and the challenges that people face in their locality.  

Pope John Paul II visited Limerick in 1979.  He placed great value on the important role that young people play in the Church.  He once said: 'The Church needs your energies, your enthusiasm, your youthful ideals, in order to make the Gospel of Life penetrate the fabric of society, transforming people's hearts and the structures of society in order to create a civilisation of true justice and love.'

I gladly encourage young people in the Diocese to embrace with enthusiasm the opportunity of participating in this Award.  Your parish and the Diocese will be a richer place for your involvement. 

Jesus wants your life not just to be ordinary but to be fruitful, really fruitful.  The Pope John Paul II Award wants to help you do that.

I'd like to suggest three words to guide you as you set out.

Courage: Don't be afraid to reach out and take an initiative.

Benevolence: Be kind in the way you go about things, offering each other an encouraging word, praising someone when they do something good, consoling them if they have a difficulty, speaking up for them if others are downing them.  In other words, be kind in what you say and in how you do things.

Spirit: You are at school, you're learning many things.  But don't forget in all of this, you are a spiritual person so you need to look after that side of yourself.  The Pope John Paul II Award wants to help you do that.  It's so important to keep in touch with the person of Jesus Christ.  He's not just someone you learnt about who lived two thousand years ago.  He's alive today too and is by your side.  He wants to help you, support you and guide you.  So be sure and keep in touch with him as you strive for the Pope John Paul II Award, nurturing the spiritual side of your life (remember you always have the Holy Spirit to strengthen you!).  Jesus made a wonderful promise and he makes it to you today: 'If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit.'  Jesus wants your life not just to be ordinary but to be fruitful, really fruitful.

I'll pray for you and I ask you to pray for me.  Every best wish and blessing.

+Brendan Leahy, Bishop of Limerick"