Congratulations to the five students from Clongowes, who received their Pope John Paul II Awards from Bishop Denis Nulty in Askea Parish Church, Carlow during Catholic Schools Week. They were among 283 other young people from schools and parishes in the Kildare and Leighlin diocese, who completed the award.
Pictured above with Ms Anne Marie Dolan and Bishop Nulty are Sean Ojejinmi, Ceallachan McDonald (standing), Michael O’Brien, David Tunney and Cian Horneck Johnston, all of whom received their Gold Awards. (See David Tunney’s report below for more. Picture Gallery here).
The Award represents an acknowledgement for continued service to both the faith and community life of the school and are well deserved by each of our students. Thank you to each of them for the work they did and the contribution they made to school life.
Throughout the past year they have provided a social and faith service to our school community on an ongoing basis, with dedication and commitment. This included their Social Outreach and Age Action programmes as part of their Transition Year, completion of retreats, making prayer cards during Catholic Schools Week as well as for the cup matches, fundraising for worthy causes, taking charge of looking after the Manresa Prayer Room, writing prayers of the faithful for and setting up for Sunday Mass. Each of the students also completed a reflection on how their faith is reflected in this service.
We really value this involvement and participation and encourage many more students to get involved in the award in the coming years. Presently eight Syntax students are completing the GOLD award while we have one student in Poetry completing the highest award to be achieved in the JPII Awards, the Papal Cross.
Anne-Marie Dolan, Pastoral Co-Ordinator
On Friday 5th February five Poetry students embarked on a journey from Clongowes to Askea Parish Church (Co. Carlow) to receive our John Paul II Gold Awards on which we have worked since the beginning of Transition Year. The focus of the awards was to highlight and commend the students who achieved this great award due to their hard work and effort.
The ceremony took place in a more modern parish church than the Boy’s Chapel to which we Clongownians are accustomed. The church was full with the recipients sitting in the middle and parents sitting at the side. The ceremony commenced with an interview with four students on what they did for their award and how they reflected upon it. After the interviews the parents were shown a short, animated film, which recounted the life of Pope John Paul II in order to convey a greater understanding of his life and achievements.
Bishop Denis Nulty then came forward to present the awards to the students and we all had the opportunity to get a picture with him while we received the medal and the certificate. There was an intermission in the middle of the ceremony in which a young choir performed three pieces outstandingly.
In the final stages of the ceremony Bishop Nulty and Supreme Knight Barry McMahon were asked to say a few words to the recipients. Both men outlined the importance of young people in the church and how we are the future of the church. Finally each school was called up to take a group photograph with Bishop Nulty.
Overall the ceremony was a good way to commend the work that the five of us had done over the past year, while also giving us an opportunity to try something new.
David Tunney (Poetry)