The “Big April Ask” from Pope Francis for young people

Pope Francis has proposed that next Synod of Bishops will focus on “Young People, the Faith and Vocational Discernment”. In order to prepare for the Synod of Bishops, a Preparatory Document has been released to assist reflection and discussion. It also contains questions for young people and leaders.

The Big April Ask is a national survey prepared by Youth Leaders throughout Ireland. It needs to be completed by the end of April 2017.

The survey is hosted on Survey Monkey and is ideal for students in school, third level students and any young person aged 16-30. It takes approximately two minutes to complete. Click here to access the survey.

The Pope John Paul II Award
This 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 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 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.

Who is the Award for?
The Pope John Paul II Award is for anyone between the age of 16 and 18. The Award is run by the Diocese and is suitable for:

Students in TY and/or Senior Cycle in the Diocese of Meath
Anyone between the age of 16 and 18, not in post-primary education
The Award is non-competitive, flexible and voluntary and requires an ongoing commitment. Awards are earned by taking part in parish and social activities – 1 hour per week over 8, 14 or 20 weeks. There are 3 Awards – Gold, Silver & Bronze. Those that have completed the Gold Award have a further option of completing the Papal Cross Award.

For further information contact: Sean Wright, Tierworker, Kells, Co Meath.

Cell: 086 8300334 E-Mail:


A message from the Bishop of Meath

I welcome the setting up of the diocesan structure for the Pope John Paul II Award, involving young people in second level schools. All belong to the family of God, including the young, and all are called to respect and cherish the giftedness of their lives in the sight of God. Pope John Paul II, among many other initiatives, began the worldwide gathering of young people known as World Youth Days. His initiative, which has evoked an enormous response, was a call and a challenge as well as an affirmation of the contribution young people can make to their families, their local community, the Church and wider society.

The Award encourages such involvement and outreach which has a formative and positive impact on the lives of those who take part in its programmes. I trust many will be able to participate in the programme in all parts of our Diocese. I especially thank those who have given their time and expertise to oversee this welcome development.

+ Michael Smith, Bishop of Meath

Pope John Paul II Award 10 Year Celebration at Knock Shrine

Calling all Pope John Paul II Award participants – past and present!

This year, the Pope John Paul II Award is celebrating its 10th anniversary. To celebrate these 10 years and the achievements of so many participating in and who have achieved the Award, a day of celebration will take place in April at Knock Shrine.

Date: Wednesday, 5th April 2017
Time: 11am – 4pm. Mass at 3pm
Location: Knock Shrine, Co. Mayo, Ireland

We are delighted to be celebrating the Award at Knock which Pope Saint John Paul II visited in 1979 and where over 1.5 million pilgrims visit this special place each year.

Attend & Celebrate
All participants past and present in Ireland and the UK are invited to the event along with their parish leaders, school principals and Award leaders. There are some exciting plans and special guests arranged for the day, and participants will be encouraged to get involved in the activities and celebrations.