Papal Cross Award

Who is the Papal Cross Award for?

It is designed for young people who have completed and received the Gold JPII Award.

Papal Cross Award Requirements:

Parish Involvement: 1 activity per week x 26 weeks

Social Awareness: 1 activity per week x 26 weeks

Project: See below

Parish Involvement

When we are baptised we become members of the Body of Christ. This means that we are called to be the presence of Christ in the world. As the Body of Christ, we belong to the community of the Church. We live out this belonging in our parish. For the Church, for the Body of Christ to be fully alive everybody needs to be actively involved. There are many things we can do in our parish. Examples of activities in the parish that can be done for the Award are:

  • Reading at Mass
  • Altar Server
  • Eucharistic Minister
  • Member of choir/folk group
  • Church decoration
  • Collector
  • Composing prayers of the faithful
  • Preparing articles for the parish bulletin
  • Leading GIFT in your parish
  • Organising prayer/liturgical services/dramas
  • There may be other activities that you are involved in that are not included here but may be relevant, if so please contact Living Youth for approval.

Social Awareness

As members of the Body of Christ, through baptism, we make Christ present by the way we treat others. Our faith is lived out most fully in our actions, that is why it is important to be aware of the needs of others and to minister to their needs. That is why ‘Social Awareness’ is such an important aspect of this Award. Examples of activities in the area of Social Awareness that you could do for your Award are:

  • Member of St. Vincent de Paul
  • Working in a youth club
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Trocaire
  • Ongoing fundraising
  • Regular visitation of residential homes
  • Faith Friends
  • There may be other activities that you are involved in that are not included here but may be relevant, if so please contact Living Youth for approval.

Papal Cross Award Top-Ups

Award Top-Ups are given in recognition of the extra activities that young people are already involved in. Top-Ups will go towards the total number of activities an individual has to complete. Top-Ups can be achieved in a number of ways, for example – helping with the sick pilgrims at Lourdes, leading at a residential/retreat weekend, etc.


On completion of the 26 activities in the parish involvement and social awareness strands, the young person completes a project. The nature of the project will be decided in consultation with the student and Living Youth. The project will require a commitment level of 10-20 hours depending on the chosen activities. Through the project the young person will demonstrate on-going commitment to faith and good works.

Projects can be chosen from the following areas:

  • Pastoral – such as the promotion of good choices within school or parish context
  • Spiritual – Helping to facilitate retreats, liturgies and services through school or the centre
  • Peer Ministry – Working with younger pupils in school or at parish level to deliver faith based programmes such as GIFT or ‘Walk Tall’
  • Personal Skills Tasks – Art, Computer, Public Speaking, Music, Drama. Examples could be designing activities and ideas for group work at retreats, designing/making banners. Graphic design for a newsletter. Making a PowerPoint presentation or designing posters for Diocesan Events. Working with Diocesan Initiatives such as the youth choir or pilgrimages.


The participant will complete a personal profile about their project that may contain photos and examples of work and must include a 300 word summary.