Message from the Bishop of Ossory
Recently, a book has been published with the title “When a Pope asks Forgiveness – The Mea Culpa’s of John Paul II”. The book is dedicated to the emphasis Pope John Paul gave during his many pastoral visits, all over the world, to the need of apology in the face of historical and contemporary injustices and abuse of all sorts. The book catalogues 95 issues that merited an apology during his many pastoral visits. In the face of social brokenness and cruel injustice and abuse, apology is always part of the mending. I do believe that the introduction of the John Paul Awards to the Diocese of Ossory by the Knights of St. Columbanus will help to re-generate the sense of the Christian need to reach out to the many needs of our neighbours. A great example of this missionary initiative is the 40 to 50 young boys and girls who volunteer to travel on the Lourdes Pilgrimage to help with the care of the sick and infirm pilgrims. This experience has been a wonderful experience for young students of Transition Year. In fact, for many of the students this pilgrimage experience has been one of the highlights of their time in Secondary School. They experience an essential aspect of being a Christian, namely, laying down some time of one’s life for the care of the neighbour.
I believe that the introduction of the John Paul II Award to the Diocese of Ossory will be a similar experience for the many young people who will participate in this initiative. It is very heartening to see such a great interest of people in this apostolic project. This initiative will encourage and foster the participation of young people in the life of our parishes, inviting them to express their Christian faith, hope and love and to build up the missionary life of the Church.
I commend this project to the youth of the Diocese, and I pray that all involved with be greatly blessed by God.
+ Séamus Freeman, SAC Bishop of Ossory
Contact Ossory Diocese:
The Pope John Paul II Award Office
St. Kieran’s College
Tel: 056 777 0261
Contact Central Office
Central Office: Derry Diocesan Catechetical Centre
The Gate Lodge
2 Francis Street
Tel: 028 7126 4087
Fax: 028 7126 9090