Adolescents question faith and establish independence. It is important to remember that these questions and need for individualism is a normal process and not a spiritual problem but a normal process of development. Questions can be a sign that their faith is growing. As religious educators, or anyone involved in helping adolescents with faith development should respond openly to these questions, doubts and anxieties. Adolescents is a time where we try to discover some meaning from what we are taught. We critise, read and listen which are the signs of a true Christian. True Christianity is always critical, questioning and continually developing in its understanding of God and of human life.
How can we as religious educators encourage faith development of our students in a positive, active and open environment? I believe one way we can help faith development grow is through introducing and implement the John Paul II awards into your school.
John Paul II Awards
The John Paul II Award, inaugurated in 2006, is an initiative that enables young people to express their faith through parish and community based activities. The awards are dedicated to the memory of the late Pope, Pope John Paul II.
If you are aged between 16 and 18 and living or going to school in the Dublin Diocese, the Pope John Paul II Award will enable you to become more actively involved in the life of your parish and community. Religion is not just for learning, nor a list of rules designed to stop you doing what you want. Religion is for living and through taking an active part in your church and community you will experience the contentment and fulfillment that comes from serving others, especially those in great need.
The award was designed for any students in Transition Year Program or any post primary students between the ages of 16 and 18.
There are a number of awards you can get:
Bronze Award Requirements:
The Silver Award
Silver Award Requirements:
The Gold Award
Gold Award Requirements:
The Papal Cross Award
Who is the Papal Cross Award for?
Students who have completed and received the Gold Award.
Papal Cross Award Requirements:
These awards have a number elements Parish involvement, social awareness and a project. See this link for more details: http://www.thepopejohnpauliiaward.com/the_papalcross_award.htm
‘Faith in Action’ Resources
Trócaire have developed an Educational resource for all educators. The ‘Faith in Action’ resource contains four weeks of engaging lesson material for the Pope John Paul II Award. Students are then encouraged to spend another four weeks carrying out action projects within their communities. (The resource can be adapted to fit a longer or shorter timeframe.) These resources provide an excellent starting point for all teachers who wish to bring in the John Paul II awards into their school or classroom. The resources provided here range from worksheets, power points, action plans, teachers notes,
Check out these links for more details and resources: