A group of sixth form students from Loreto College Coleraine have each been presented with the Pope John Paul II Awards at the Derry Diocese’s tenth annual ceremony, held in Derry’s Millennium Forum on Tuesday 7th February.
Forty-two final year students from Loreto College were presented with the Pope John Paul II Gold award in recognition of their commitment and dedication to parish involvement and social awareness. The Pope John Paul II Award was created to commemorate the late Pope John Paul II, who was very committed to young people and had great belief and confidence in them. It allows young people to be able 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 roles of the Catholic Church. The Award is earned by voluntarily taking part in activities of Parish Involvement and Social Awareness for a set period of time, and preparation of a presentation. It is presented to 16 - 18 year olds who have been actively involved their parishes and communities have a contributed ”in a positive way to the life of the Church”; the hope is that this commitment will last well into adult life.
The speaker at the ceremony was Most Reverend Philip Tartaglia, Archbishop of Glasgow. The ceremony was also attended by Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry. Such ceremonies, which began in the Derry Diocese, have now spread to over 20 dioceses in Ireland and England.
The students and the members of the Religious Education department at Loreto College, were congratulated on their generosity and commitment by Mr Michael James, College Principal. Reflecting on what they had learned, the students felt that the scheme had allowed them to grow in their faith and in confidence, and had given them the opportunity to live their faith through action.