Five Filipinos were chosen to receive the “Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” translated as ‘For Church and Pope’ award, one of the highest awards to be given by the Pope.
Fernando Zobel de Ayala of Ayala Corp., Arnulfo Veridico of Caritas Manila, Manuel Pangilinan of Metro Pacific Investment Corp., Ramon del Rosario Jr. of PHINMA, and Maria Gonzalez Goolsby of UnionBank will be honored with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice commendation. This recognition is in appreciation of their exceptional and generous contributions to the Church through their service to Caritas Manila.
In a letter, Archbishop of Manila Cardinal José F. Advincula praised the awardees saying: “You were nominated for your outstanding contribution as one of the key figures who, through the years, were consistently behind the success of the programs and activities of Caritas Manila.”
Caritas Philippines, the social action arm of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), is a non-profit organization dedicated to achieving comprehensive human development, alleviating poverty, and cultivating a Christian community characterized by a robust social conscience.
This recognition is in appreciation of their exceptional and generous contributions to the Church through their service to Caritas Manila.
It was mentioned that Zobel, del Rosario, and Pangilinan served as key figures on the organization’s Board of Trustees, contributing significantly to its leadership. Meanwhile, Goolsby and Veridico are recognized as enduring supporters and dedicated volunteers for the organization.
Each of these individuals will be awarded the Cross of Honor medal, a distinction established by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 to commemorate his golden sacerdotal jubilee. Presently, the Cross of Honor medal stands as the most prestigious recognition conferred upon laypersons for their exceptional services to the church and the pope.
The awarding of Zobel, Del Rosario, Pangilinan, Goolsby and Veridico will be held at the Manila Cathedral on Jan. 17, 2024.