Pope John Paul II Awards

The Pope John Paul II Award enables participants to take an active part in the life of their Church – in the life of their community and society. It enables young people to become more aware of the teaching and role of the Catholic Church in the world and to engage at a deep level with Christ. The Award was created to commemorate the late Pope Saint John Paul II who was so committed to young people and who had such belief and confidence in them.

Making young people visible in their Church, community & society.

The Award is committed to helping young people enhance their spiritual, physical, emotional and social development through participation in school, Parish, and community activities. As well as the feeling of personal achievement that a participant will gain from taking part in the Award, participation will help demonstrate the young person’s commitment to a task and goal.

The Award is for:

  • The Pope John Paul II Award is for anyone from the age of 16 – 18 inclusive: in 4th, 5th or 6th year, or not in post-primary education.
  • The Award is non-competitive, flexible and voluntary and requires an ongoing commitment.
  • There are 4 Awards – Gold, Silver, Bronze and Papal Cross. Only those that have completed the Gold Award have the option of completing the Papal Cross Award.
  • Awards are earned by taking part in Parish and social activities – 1 hour per week over 8, 14, 20 or 26 weeks, plus the completion of a personal reflection.

Award Top-Ups are given in recognition of the extra activities that young people are already involved in. Top-Ups will go towards the total number of hours an individual has to complete.

How can I get involved?

  • To enrol, complete and sign the application and consent form. You should then return the completed form along with the enrolment fee to your Award leader in your school/parish.
  • They will talk you through the steps involved, which can also be found on https://thepopejohnpauliiaward.com


What can I do for my hours?

There are so many ways to get involved in parish and social awareness activities in your area!  Agree your chosen activities with your Award Leader to make sure they qualify for the Award

  • Click here to download a Church Poster to advertise the Pope John Paul II Award
  • Click here to download an Information Brochure with ideas for parish and social involvement hours.
Ideas for Parish Involvement Hours

At a Diocesan Level:

  • Diocesan Alpha Youth (& other zoom programmes)
  • Diocesan “To the Heights” weekly challenges
  • REVIVE monthly event
  • Diocesan Music Project


In your school:

  • Adoration Club
  • Rosary Club (like Sr Clare Crockett started!)
  • “To the Heights” Club (engaging with weekly diocesan newsletter)
  • School Chaplaincy Team
  • Decorating School Oratory
  • Prayer Spaces in School


In your parish:

  • Weekly youth programme e.g. Alpha Youth
  • Attend Youth Prayer Meeting consistently
  • “To the Heights” Club (engaging with weekly diocesan newsletter)
  • Attend weekly adoration in church
  • Assist with monthly hour of adoration for youth
  • “Lightfever” in local parish church
  • Parish choir / play parish organ
  • Minister of the Word
  • Prayers of the Faithful at Mass
  • Collection basket
  • Church decoration and flowers
  • Training / mentoring altar servers
  • Print parish newsletters for elderly at home or in nursing homes
  • Deliver Offering Envelopes to houses
  • Update Parish Noticeboards
  • Make prayer cards weekly for back of Church
  • Set up “Prayer Stations” in church
  • Be a Steward or a Greeter at the Church door
  • Help with cleaning and sanitising the church
  • Organise a Local Pilgrimage for a class group
  • Create a video / podcast about local saint
  • Create a Virtual stations of the cross
  • Submit prayer / reflection weekly for a parish newsletter youth section
  • Contribute to parish website / Social Media
  • Volunteer at Family ministry / Children’s Liturgy / Summer Faith Camps
  • Distribute Faith@Home weekly diocesan newsletters in parish / nursing homes
  • Distribute To the Heights weekly diocesan newsletter in schools / among young people
  • Help at Parish Coffee Morning
  • Sacramental Preparation Programmes e.g. Faith Friends


Specific Times during the year

  • November Remembrance Space / Liturgy
  • Advent and Lenten liturgies
  • Exam Mass in Parish
  • Parish Celebration for Catholic School Week
  • Holy Week and Easter Liturgies
  • Live Crib
  • Live Stations of the Cross
  • Carol Service
  • Make St Brigid Crosses / distribute in parish
  • Assist at a Parish Novena
Ideas for Social Awareness Hours

Diocesan Outreach:

  • Diocesan Kenya Twinning Project
  • Fundraising for Christ on the Street


In your school:

  • Volunteer with Special Needs students
  • Volunteer at Homework Club
  • European Youth Parliament
  • Immersion Programmes


Working with the Elderly:

  • Collect shopping for elderly
  • Volunteer with Active Retirement Groups
  • Playing music in Hospital / Nursing Homes
  • I.T. skills for the elderly
  • Carehome penpals
  • Bingo for Seniors


Charity Organisations:

  • Young SVP
  • Trócaire
  • Pieta Darkness into Light
  • Mary’s Meals
  • Cycle for Suicide
  • Mini-Marathon
  • Daffodil Day fundraiser
  • Charity Cake Sale
  • Shoe Box Appeal
  • SVP Collection at Christmas
  • Irish Cancer Society fundraiser


Local Clubs / Organisations:

  • Volunteer in Charity Shop
  • Tidy Towns involvement / Community Clean up
  • Member of Civil Defence
  • Leader in Scout / Girl Guide / Cubs / Brownies / Ladybirds
  • Help at a Dog Shelter
  • Youth Club / No Name Club leadership
  • Foróige leadership
  • Special Olympics
  • GAA mentoring / underage training
  • Sports Referee
  • Lifeguard
  • First Aid course
  • Red Cross
  • Order of Malta
  • St John’s Ambulance
  • Teaching dance
  • Bag packing in supermarkets
  • Music Tuition in community centre
Ideas for Top-Ups
  • JPII Diocesan Retreat Day
  • Summer Faith Camps
  • Participate in Pilgrimages
  • Participate in St Declan’s Way
  • Participate in Parish Hike / Walk
  • Attend a Parish Novena
  • Attend a Youth 2000 Retreat
Where can I get the forms and record cards?
  • You can get all the forms you need from your local Award Leader (either in your school or parish) or you can download copies of them from the national Pope John Paul II Award website here.
Resources on St John Paul II