On Thursday, 28th March 2019 hundreds of people gathered in St. Patrick’s Cathedral Armagh for the annual Diocesan Faith Award Ceremony. This event, celebrated by Archbishop Eamon Martin, took place to rejoice in the gifts and talents over 350 young people who were there to receive awards for volunteering in their respective parishes, communities and schools. Young people from all over the Archdiocese received awards, namely the Muiredach Cross Award and the Pope John Paul II Award.
The Muiredach Cross Award and the Pope John Paul II Award are prestigious awards focusing on the area of faith development. To receive one is very much a great achievement for those who were being celebrated on this occasion. The Muiredach Cross Award is particularly aimed at the younger members of society throughout the schools within the Archdiocese. It is hoped that participation for this award will provide a solid foundation to build upon in later life when a young person is eligible to take part in the Pope John Paul II Award. There is great interest in participation in these two awards and this was highlighted by the numbers in attendance and the level of enthusiasm shown in attendance on Thursday night.
The Award Ceremony itself wasn’t a passive experience for those involved. The young people and their schools/parishes were actively involved throughout the whole ceremony, providing music and displaying the talents that are being put to such good use within their local communities and parishes.
The event continued with a reflective conversation about the awards, facilitated by Archbishop Eamon. Two young people shared their experience of participation in the Pope John Paul Award.
They discussed with Archbishop Eamon the challenges facing young Catholics in todays society but also reflected upon how much they enjoyed the journey of personal and spiritual development that the Pope John Paul Award process facilitates.
As a previous Award winner a number of years ago Liam Linden joined the discussion and spoke passionately about how the award introduced him to a life of opportunity and friendship within the faith community, as well as sharing the great joys and faith encounters that he has experienced in his young adult life through his involvement with the Armagh Diocesan Youth Commission. Liam is a perfect example of a young person who found their feet in their faith and has not only developed into a confident young but has become very much a role model for those he now has the pleasure of leading through Youth Ministry.
Dermot Kelly, Diocesan Youth Director commented “The Awards Ceremony is a celebration for the beauty and abundant potential of our young people. Youth are a beacon of light and the ceremony is a great opportunity for our church to celebrate the gift of life”.
The evening was accompanied throughout with the outstanding singing and music provided by the Senior Choir of Holy Trinity College, Cookstown, conducted by Miss. Roisin McCurry.
Archbishop Eamon Martin and Monsignor Colm Curry presented the awards. The atmosphere in the cathedral was inspiring. The air of pride and enthusiasm among the young people was palpable.
The Armagh Diocesan Faith Award Committee would like to thank those involved in the ceremony: the award participants, their Faith Award Leaders, parents/guardians, clergy & religious, and all who took part in what was clearly a successful occasion of great celebration.
To hear more or to get involved in this award please contact the Diocesan Youth Ministry Office on 028/048 3752 3084 or email: [email protected]
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