On Monday, 10th February, 25 6th form pupils received their Pope John Paul II Awards in the Millennium Forum. The diocese of Derry was celebrating their 13th Annual Awards ceremony with guest speaker, Archbishop Franz Lackner, Archbishop of Salzburg, Austria, and Bishop Donal McKeown, Bishop of Derry, presenting the awards.
In total, awards were distributed to 549 pupils from across the Diocese. There were 23 gold awards, 1 silver award and 1 Papal Cross Award presented to St Columb’s awardees. The Pope John Paul II Award recognises young peoples’ commitment to faith and community. Making young people visible in their church, community & society. This award is an ingenious way to direct the energy of the youth to something positive and constructive. It is probably the best way to commemorate the commitment of the former Pope to the young people of the world.
In his address to the awardees, Archbishop Lackner recalled:
‘John Paul II had a huge impact on my priestly life… For 11 years I was Auxiliary Bishop of Graz and in charge of young people. John Paul II was always in my heart.’
Pictured below are the recipients of the Award alongside their award leader, Mr McGarry , Principal Madden, Archbishop Franz Lackner and Bishop Donal McKeown. (The award leader would like to Mrs Valdez Pena, the Diocesan Catechetical Centre and the RE department for their assistance throughout the year).