Pope John Paul II Award

Check our our tips for completing your JPII Award during the pandemic HERE.

The Pope John Paul II Award is dedicated to the memory of the late Pope John Paul II, whose love of young people was so profound. The Award was launched in 2006 in the Diocese of Derry, and has since spread to the four corners of Ireland to the UK.

If you are aged between 16 and 18 and living or going to school in the Archdiocese of Tuam, the Pope John Paul II Award will enable you to become more actively involved in the life of your parish and community.

Faith is for living, and through taking an active part in your church and community you will experience the contentment and fulfillment that comes from serving others, especially those in great need.

Participation in the Award will also help show future employers and educators that you are a young person who can make an ongoing commitment to a task. The award is non-competitive, flexible and voluntary.

The Award is achieved through volunteering in both a parish and community setting. Participants can aim for the Bronze, Silver or Gold Award, depending on the number of activities they do. With their hours completed, they then submit a reflection on their experience. Participants in their second year may aim for the Papal Cross Award, which involves the completion of a project instead of a reflection at the end. Further details can be found on the Pope John Paul II Award website.

Examples of Parish involvement

  • Reading at Mass
  • Eucharistic Minister
  • Member of choir/folk group
  • Children’s Liturgy
  • Altar Server / Sacristan
  • Church cleaning team
  • Church stewarding
  • Preparing the church for Easter, Christmas etc.
  • Helping with special liturgies e.g. Exam Mass, St. Patrick’s Day, Remembrance Service for the Dead, Stations of the Cross on Good Friday
  • Basket Collector
  • Sacramental Preparation Programmes (e.g. You Shall be my Witness)
  • Writing articles for the parish newsletter / diocesan magazine ‘New Dawn’
  • Participating in Parish Youth Group
  • School Chaplaincy Team / Prayer Group
  • Volunteering at Knock Shrine – VAKS
  • Volunteering in Lourdes – Order of Malta, Irish Pilgrimage Trust etc.
  • Pilgrimages – e.g. Croagh Patrick, Tóchar Phádraig, Máméan, or pilgrimages to local holy sites
  • Taking part in Film Series groups e.g. NUA, Youth Alpha
  • Volunteering in Faith Camps
  • Many others besides – contact your Award Coordinator/Leader for approval.

Examples of Social Awareness projects

  • Helping at home during the pandemic: cooking cleaning, babysitting, doing homework with younger siblings
  • Supporting someone you know who is going through a difficult time
  • Member of St. Vincent de Paul
  • Faith and Light
  • Special Olympics
  • Leader in a youth club e.g. Foróige
  • Sports coaching e.g. GAA, soccer, swimming, gymnastics
  • Helping someone learning English, IT skills, music, dance, art etc.
  • Visiting a nursing home or reaching out with letters, postcards etc.
  • Supporting the elderly or housebound – phone call, cutting lawns, washing windows, doing shopping, baking
  • Organising or taking part in an initiative that promotes an inclusive and welcoming society (e.g. supporting people in direct provision) 
  • Fundraising for charity
  • Helping in a charity shop
  • Volunteering in an animal shelter
  • Helping out at any community event – e.g. Agricultural Show
  • Peer 4 Peer Programme
  • Mentoring e.g. Big Brother / Big Sister
  • Environmental activism e.g. Tidy Towns, Green Schools committee, beach clean-up
  • Volunteering at school – e.g. School Open Night, Parent Teacher Meetings
  • Organising school initiatives that promote health and wellbeing, mental health awareness, inclusivity etc. 
  • Volunteering abroad – Habitat for Humanity etc.
  • Many others besides – contact your Award Coordinator/Leader for approval.

What forms do I need?

Final Reflection