Hundreds of pupils across Scotland have been praised for their commitment to living out their Catholic faith at the Pope Benedict XVI Caritas Award Ceremony hosted in Glasgow, Tuesday 28 May, including nearly 200 pupils from the Archdiocese of St Andrews & Edinburgh. The award is bestowed upon those who have dedicated 40 hours’ service to their local church and community to help others and renew their own commitment to the Catholic faith.
Enoch Aderibigbe (left), a pupil at St Andrew’s High School, Kirkcaldy, said: “I volunteered at school coaching the basketball team and passing on my skills to the younger ones. Particularly with coaching, I picked up new skills and you become more committed and feel more motivated to do it.”
Meanwhile, Anna Morrow (below right), of St Thomas of Aquin's High School, Edinburgh, said: “I volunteered at a care home every week. I really enjoyed that because some of them don’t get many visitors and can feel quite lonely at times. To build that relationship with them is really rewarding.”
The ceremony at the Scottish Exhibition Centre's Armadillo saw Archbishop Leo Cushley praise pupils for their efforts, along with guest of honour, the Scottish Education Secretary, John Swinney MSP.
Archbishop Cushley said: "As you stand on the edge of adulthood, I hope these 40 hours of service are only a foretaste of what you will bring to the church and to the world, and that you will continue to place yourselves joyfully at the service of others, and build a better, saner, fairer, happier world for everyone."
Lauren Coates, a pupil at St Columba’s High School, Dunfermline, spoke of the personal impact of undertaking the Caritas Award: “It allowed me to share the love of God to others and help young people feel the love of God and do things for the community that they wouldn’t do otherwise."
“You can experience and share your skills and socialise with other people. It’s a great award to have.”