Annual Faith prize is Pope’s legacy
— Some 1000 senior pupils from schools across Scotland taking part in 2013 Caritas Award
More than 1000 senior pupils from schools across Scotland are currently taking part in the 2013 Caritas Award.
Building on the success of last year’s inaugural award, every Catholic secondary school in Scotland—and some non-denominational schools—has enrolled in this year’s Caritas programme, which sees pupils helping in their schools and parish communities to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the Faith and then applying to achieve the award at the end of the school year.
The Caritas Award was initiated in the school session 2011/2012 as a lasting legacy of Pope Benedict XVI’s inspirational visit to Scotland in September 2010.
Legacy of love
Although Pope Benedict has now retired from his role as the Vicar of Christ, Michael McGrath, director of the Scottish Catholic Education Service, said that his legacy, and in particular his teaching on Caritas and Love, is something that should live on in the hearts and minds of young Scottish Catholics.
“Pope Benedict’s teaching on Caritas and Love was foundational and something we would like to see continued in the Caritas programme,” Mr McGrath said.
Last June, 450 young people were presented with the inaugural Caritas Award at a ceremony at Glasgow’s Clyde Auditorium.
Mr McGrath is delighted that the Church has built on the success of last year’s award programme to the extent that more than double the number of participants has signed up to take part this year.
“We have noticed a greater confidence in schools this year,” he said. “The journal the young people are completing has given them structure and they have also seen videos of last year’s awards ceremony, so the pupils know more about what they are involved in this year.
“They have been challenged to engage more with their parishes and we hope this will be something they continue to do when they leave school.”
A total of 38 S6 pupils from St Andrew’s and St Bride’s High School in East Kilbride are currently working towards achieving the Caritas Award this summer.
Mary Glen, a religious education teacher at St Andrew’s and St Bride’s, has been working with the pupils, who, she said, have not only been helping in the school community but also at parish level.
This work has included pupils helping Fr Owen Ness, the school chaplain, at St Bride’s Church in East Kilbride.
“Pupils have helped at various events in the parish, including a Mass for the Sick, a Mass for the Dead and helping with the Children’s Liturgy,” Mrs Glen said. “They have also helped to organise social events, including a parish Burns Night.”
Senior pupils have also assisted at the three other East Kilbride parishes associated with St Andrew’s and St Bride’s: St Leonard’s, Our Lady of Lourdes and St Vincent’s.
This year’s Caritas Award ceremony will take place at Glasgow’s Clyde Auditorium on Sunday June 2, the feast of Corpus Christi.
n Further information on the Caritas Award 2013 can be found on the Scottish Catholic Education Service website at: http://www.sces.uk.com