Pope John Paul II had always expressed his belief in the capability of the youth to make an enormous difference to the world. He did everything he possibly could to encourage the youth to involve themselves and participate in progressive and developmental activities instead of being strayed into destructive ways that is becoming very common in the present century. Terrorism and other forms of ‘evil’ like involvement in drugs, trafficking and other forms of crime takes over a person when he/she is young; when their minds can be easily molded by anyone to believe anything.
Pope John Paul II Award is dedicated to the memory of the Pope and his profound love and faith in the youth. It is meant to bring young people closer to Christ and understand him like no one did before. This allows them deeper understanding of ‘religion’. Religion is not solely about memorizing the rules, regulations and the Holy book.
Any student aged between sixteen to eighteen years of age can be eligible for this award. This flexible, voluntary and non-competitive award is also meant for the students in year 13 in Northern Ireland, students in 4th year in the Republic of Ireland, students in full time education who have completed GCSE or, junior certificate and students in transition year. The eligible candidates can win any of the four awards that are the Papal Cross, Gold, Silver and Bronze. Application forms can be downloaded from the relevant websites. Once the forms are filled, it should be submitted to the award leader of the school parish along with the enrolment fee.
Once the application is processed, the applicant will receive a record card from the award leader. The concerned students can then consult with the former and discuss the activities he intends to carry out under the sections of ‘Parish involvement’ and ‘social awareness’. A presentation of a thousand or, thousand five hundred words is also required to be prepared by the concerned student alongside necessary hours of service. This is then received and ratified by the school principal and then sent to the Pope John Paul II Award Committee.
The process of being selected and receiving the award may seem tiring and arduous, but in reality it is not so. All the participants have reported a sense of fulfillment by serving the community and people who need love, care and attention. It brings them closer to Him and enlightens young minds to understand why selfless community service is needed. This award is an ingenious way to direct the energy of the youth to something positive and constructive. It is probably the best way to commemorate the commitment of the Pope to the young people of the world.
The loving memory of the ex Vatican Sovereign still rules the minds of people and is also felt through bronze statues that have been carved to perfection, to reflect every single details of this great soul.