Catholic Church

5 Filipinos to get highest award for laity from Pope Francis

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5 Filipinos to get highest award for laity from Pope Francis

PAPAL AWARD. The Cross of Honor is considered the highest award given by the Pope to the laity.

Five Filipinos recognized for their contributions to Caritas Manila are set to receive the highest Papal honor for the laity

MANILA, Philippines – Five Filipinos will be receiving the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (For Church and Pope), the highest Papal award conferred to the laity. It is a cross of honor given to lay people who have served the church.

Recognized for their contributions to non-profit organization Caritas Manila were Ayala Corporation’s Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Metro Pacific Investment Corporation’s Manuel Pangilinan, Caritas Manila’s Arnulfo Veridico, PHINMA Corporation’s Ramon del Rosario Jr., and UnionBank’s Maria Gonzalez Goolsby.

Zobel de Ayala and Pangilinan are both members of Caritas Manila’s board of trustees. Del Rosario is current vice chairman of the organization while Goolsby and Veridico are long-time supporters.

The organization is “geared towards total human development, poverty alleviation, and the creation of a Christian community with a strong social conscience.” It was established in 1953 by the late Manila Archbishop Rufino Cardinal Santos.

Some of the programs of Caritas Manila help poor youth get a college or technical-vocational degrees, provide emergency assistance to families affected by disasters, train parish-based leaders and volunteers, and support livelihood of families engaged in informal sectors.

In a congratulatory post online, the Metro Pacific Investments Corporation, which is headed by Pangilinan, wrote, “this award recognizes his outstanding service to the Church and the Papal office, particularly for his philanthropy and support for Caritas Manila.”

According to Ayala Foundation, Zobel de Ayala was nominated by Caritas Manila for being “one of the key figures” behind the organization.

Investment management firm PHINMA said Del Rosario was recognized for his services to the church and the Pope.

Other Filipinos in the past who received the distinction from the Pope were veteran Catholic photographer Noli Yamsuan Jr., actress Nova Villa, and interior designer Tony Adriano.

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