On Friday 2nd March 127 young people from the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin were presented with their medals and certificates on successfully completing the Pope John Paul II Award.
Mgr Brendan Byrne, Diocesan Administrator and Mary Kennedy from RTE presented the awards. The majority of young people received the gold award and 14 students received ‘The Papal Cross Award’ the highest achievement in the award.
The award was launched in October 2009 as an initiative to acknowledge the contribution young people make in our Church and as a way to encourage more young people to get involved in their local parish and community. Mary Kennedy commended the 127 awardees for their efforts and commitment and Mgr Brendan Byrne spoke to the young people about how impressed he was with the variety of activities they had participated in and the quality of their personal reflections.
There was over 400 in attendance including family members of the awardees, representatives from the various schools and colleges of the diocese, priests and parishioners from parishes throughout the diocese and representatives from charities and organisations that have benefited greatly from the voluntary work of the 127 awardees. The awardees came from 32 parishes and 19 schools and colleges across the diocese and beyond. Yvonne Rooney Diocesan Co-ordinator for the award said “We are delighted with the response to the award so far and we want to extend an invitation to all young people in senior cycle of school in the diocese to sign up and get involved in their parishes and local communities as the award continues to grow”.
As part of the proceedings on the night, a message of congratulations was read from President Michael D Higgins and RTE’s Mary Kennedy interviewed five young people who shared their experiences of what they did to achieve their awards. All five spoke about enjoying their participation in Church activities and Community events. The evening was a great opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the young people and highlight the fantastic energy and enthusiasm the young people bring to the Church.