Pope John Paul II Awards 2016 were held on Thursday November 26th in Summerhill College, Sligo. The ceremony was attended by Bishop Kevin Doran, Barry McMahon (Deputy Supreme Knight), School Principals, Award Leaders, Teachers, Priests and Parents. Philip Mulryne, a Northern Irish friar and decon in the Roman Catholic Church and retired professional footballer was the guest speaker and his personal faith testimony and words of encouragement for our young people were greatly appreciated by all in attendance. Twenty years ago, Mulryne made his debut for Man United under Sir Alex Ferguson and was a team-mate of David Beckham and Ryan Giggs. Now he is well on the way to being ordained as a priest in 2017. Three of the Awardees, (which included Rebecca Carroll from our school) shared personally and profoundly about their experience of partaking in the Award. Rebecca is to be commended for her confident and professional presentation on the night. The John Paul II Award Initiative was launched in the Diocese over four years ago through the Diocesan Youth Ministry Office. This was made possible by the very generous sponsorship of the Knights of Columbanus who funded the entire cost of the setup and launch of this fantastic initiative. The Award is now established and running in 19 Dioceses and supports the Church’s mission in a practical way and facilites the handing on of the Catholic faith to the next generation. In his address on the night Bishop Doran congratulated the young people and thanked them for giving their time and energy to their local parishes, schools and communities. He expressed his hope that through their experience of the Award they would be encouraged to continue to give time to the practice of their faith and service to the community. Congratulations to the 21 students from our School who received their John Paul II Awards on the night. This is a wonderful achievement for all the girls and we are very proud of them. The students had to complete both a Parish and Social activity for a number of weeks as well as completing a written presentation on their activities which included a personal reflection. Ten students from our school, Ruth Walsh; Roisin Coyle; Fiona Tully; Jade Kelly; Cadhla McCrann; Rachel Fitzmaurice; Lauren Hunt; Casey Keane; Patsy Farrell and Aoife Griffin received the highest honour of achieving the Papal Cross Award, this is a fantastic achievement. Nine girls completed the Gold Award, Lauren Fahey, Aoife McLoughlin, Sophie Earley, Denise McCaffrey, Natasha Hegarty, Rebecca Carroll, Hollie Foley, Niamh Shanagher and Tara Kenny. Two girls completed the Bronze Award, Keeley Beirne and Katie Dolan. Well done to all awardees. Thanks to Summerhill College, and the Board of Management for making their beautiful new school available. The girls would like to thank their award leaders Mrs. Fitzmaurice and Mrs. O’Brien (Religion teachers) for all their help and encouragement.