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 first to make sure they qualify for the Award.

Ideas for Parish Involvement Hours

At a Diocesan Level:

  • Participate in a Diocesan Zoom Series
  • Participate in To the Heights Club online
  • Participate in a Diocesan Music Project


In your school: 

A minimum of 50% of your hours MUST come from parish-based involvement (not school-based)

  • School Chaplaincy Team
  • Decorating School Oratory
  • Organising Prayer Spaces in School
  • School Crib
  • Assist School Prayer Services


In your parish:

  • Weekly faith formation programme
  • Weekly Youth Prayer Meeting
  • Weekly Eucharistic Adoration
  • Assist with Parish Lightfever event
  • Reading at Mass
  • Join the Parish Choir
  • Volunteer with Children’s Liturgy
  • Assist with Church decoration and flowers
  • Assist with Church cleaning
  • Church Collection basket
  • Be a steward or greeter at the Church door
  • Read Prayers of the Faithful at Mass
  • Assist with Sacristan duties
  • Assist with Livestreaming at Mass
  • Assist with Training / mentoring altar servers
  • Print & deliver parish newsletters for elderly at home or in nursing homes
  • Update Parish noticeboards
  • Decorate Parish noticeboard with liturgical themes
  • Make prayer cards weekly for back of Church
  • Set up “Prayer Stations” in church
  • Organise a Local Pilgrimage for a class group
  • Create a video / podcast / pamphlet about local saint / shrine / holy well.
  • Create a Virtual stations of the cross for parish social media
  • Submit prayer / reflection weekly for a parish newsletter youth section
  • Volunteer at Family ministry / Children’s Liturgy / Summer Faith Camps
  • Distribute [email protected] weekly diocesan newsletters in parish / nursing homes
  • Help at Parish Coffee Morning
  • Sacramental Preparation Programmes
  • Delivering parish envelopes to houses
  • Serving at Mass


Specific Times during the year

  • November Remembrance Space / Liturgy
  • Advent / Lent
  • Exam Mass or Prayer Service
  • Parish Celebration: Catholic Schools Week
  • Holy Week Ceremonies and Easter Triduum
  • Stations of the Cross
  • Christmas: Live Crib, Carol Service
  • St Brigid’s Crosses (make & distribute)
  • Epiphany Chalking of the Doors blessing
  • Assist at Parish Novena / Mission
Ideas for Social Awareness Hours

Diocesan Outreach:

  • Diocesan Kenya Twinning Project
  • Fundraising for Christ on the Street
  • Little Nellie’s Baby Bank Collection


In your school:

  • Volunteer with students with additional needs
  • Volunteer at Homework Club
  • European Youth Parliament
  • Immersion Programmes
  • Assist with Training Junior Teams


Working with the Elderly:

  • Collect shopping for elderly
  • Volunteer with Active Retirement Groups
  • Playing music in hospital / nursing homes
  • Reading in hospital / nursing homes
  • Teach I.T. skills to the elderly
  • Assist or arrange Bingo for Seniors


Charity Organisations:

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


Local Clubs / Organisations:

  • Volunteer in Charity Shop
  • Tidy Towns involvement / Community Clean up
  • Leader in Scout / Girl Guide / Cubs / Brownies / Ladybirds
  • Volunteer 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 / music
  • Bag packing in supermarkets
  • Music Tuition in community centre
Ideas for Top-Ups

Award Top-Ups are given in recognition of the extra activities that young people are already involved in and go towards the total number of hours an individual has to complete. Hours are allocated by the JP2 Award Committee for specific events.


  • JPII Diocesan Retreat Day
  • National JPII Award Day (Knock)
  • Summer Faith Camps
  • Participate in Pilgrimage
  • Participate in St Declan’s Way Camino
  • 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.
  • Award Leaders should contact the Diocesan Coordinator for a Starter Pack / Checklist and copy of the Reflective Journal/Record Card.  Email: [email protected]
Resources on St John Paul II


Click the images below to access the Google Forms.