The summer months are often the time when different kinds of awards ceremonies take place. I am particularly interested in two schemes that show off our young people.
Recently I attended the Archdiocesan School Awards which spotlight our Catholic schools, staff and pupils. This was a very upbeat occasion showing clearly the way that Catholic education serves our young people well. This occasion celebrated every aspect of school life and in particular the way our schools have developed a care for the wider community.
The Faith in Action Awards are also presented at this time of year. These awards to individuals are often likened to the Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme which is offered at various levels culminating in a gold award. The Faith in Action participant has to display a commitment to their faith through worship, service and commitment. The programme involves both parishes and schools, and is eagerly sought after by our young people. More than 1,500 school students have taken part in the initiative.
As well as taking pride in their achievements, I am also quietly confident that God is working through our youngsters to ensure a better future for all. We often criticise them for not going to church as often as we would like; and I know that can be depressing for those older people like me. On the other hand, I see energy and life in abundance in our youth. If you don't believe me, then read July's edition of the Pic, or come to Lourdes on our Archdiocesan Pilgrimage this month and join the 500 young people who will certainly change your mind.