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5 Pinoys to receive pope’s highest commendation for laypersons

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines —  Five Filipinos working closely with Caritas Manila will receive the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (For Church and Pope) commendation, one of the highest honors the pope bestows upon a layperson.

Ayala Corp.’s Fernando Zobel de Ayala, Caritas Manila’s Arnulfo Veridico, Metro Pacific Investment Corp.’s Manuel Pangilinan, PHINMA’s Ramon del Rosario Jr. and UnionBank’s Maria Gonzalez Goolsby will be conferred the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice commendation for their outstanding and generous service to the Church through Caritas Manila.

In a letter sent to awardees, José Cardinal Advincula, Archbishop of Manila, wrote: “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 Manila is a non-profit organization that serves as the lead social service and development ministry of the Catholic Church in the Philippines. The organization is geared toward total human development, poverty alleviation and the creation of a Christian community with a strong social conscience.

Zobel, Del Rosario and Pangilinan are part of the board of trustees of Caritas Manila. Goolsby and Veridico, meanwhile, are longstanding supporters and volunteers of the organization.

Each of them will be conferred the Cross of Honor medal, which was instituted by Pope Leo XIII in 1888 to commemorate his golden sacerdotal jubilee. Today, the Cross of Honor medal is the highest honor bestowed upon the laity for services to the church and the pope.

The conferment of Zobel, Del Rosario, Pangilinan, Goolsby and Veridico will be held at the Manila Cathedral on Jan. 17, 2024.

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