Circular No. 06/2015
Balanga, 08 August 2015
“I thank my God every time I remember you” (Philippians 1,3)
With our prayers and praises to our almighty God and with our gratitude to you, our dearest lay faithful, Diocese of Balanga is joyfully celebrating her 40th Foundation Anniversary (created, March 17, 1975 and canonically erected, November 07, 1975) with the theme “always faithful, ever-fruitful.”
Through the years we have witnessed your fidelity to the teachings of our Lord Jesus, your dedication to our Catholic Faith and selfless fruitful contributions to the local Church of Bataan.
You are our strength and our support. You are our inspiration and exemplary collaborators. Amidst destruction and death during the World War II you proved yourselves as true heroes. Amidst calamities of Mount Pinatubo eruption, violent typhoons and cruel monsoon rains, your faith to God did not waiver. And you keep the faith and share it with one another through your acts of mercy and charitable deeds. And Bataan is blessed because of you.
All of you have to be acknowledged and appreciated. Each one of you should be remembered with good words. And I repeat the words of Saint Paul in his letter to the Philippians as he writes, “I thank my God every time I remember you” (1,3).
And now in her journey of 40 years onward the Universal Church is honoring our very own Bataenos who like us are all dedicated and devoted parishioners in our Parochial Churches in the Diocese and responsible law abiding constituents of Bataan.
With the conferment of the papal Award “Prop Ecclesiae et pro Pontifice” and Knights of Saint Sylvester” all of us her sons and daughters will be challenged and will be encouraged to give their best: time, talents and treasures for the God’s glory and for the good of Philippine Church, in particular to their respective local Dioceses. The Church as a Mother is always appreciative of the selfless the services and sacrifices of her sons and daughters. The Mother Church always remembers with gratitude our collaboration and cooperation for the fulfillment of her Mission.
Let us glorify our almighty God for this grace and blessing to the Church and Province of Bataan. Let us be thankful to our Holy Father, Pope Francis for this gift and honor to the Diocese of Balanga. Let us gratefully celebrate this memorable event with our papal awardees. And these are as follows:
A. The Papal Knight of Saint Sylvester is an Order of the Knighthood as Pontifical Order of Pope Saint Sylvester given by the reigning pope to honor the laity who renders service to the Church as exemplified in the exercise of their professional duties. The recipients and their parishes are:
1. Virgilio Ignacio (Immaculate Conception Church in Alion, Mariveles)
2. Freddie Yumang (Saint Francis of Assisi in Limay)
B. The Pro Ecclesiae et pro Pontifice award is given for distinguished service to the Church and is the highest medal that can be awarded to the laity by the pope. The following will receive the Cross of Honor:
1. Salud Bagalso (Cathedral-Shrine of Saint Joseph in Balanga)
2. Rosa Aurora David (Cathedral-Shrine of Saint Joseph in Balanga)
3. Roseanna Wenona Dizon (Cathedral-Shrine of Saint Joseph in Balanga)
4. Victoria Garcia (Cathedral-Shrine of Saint Joseph in Balanga)
5. Estelita Ignacio (Immaculate Coneption in Alion, Mariveles)
6. Estrella Paguio (Sto Cristo in Cupang, Balanga)
7. Zosima Pizarro (Our Lady of the Pillar in Pilar)
8. Ana Santiago (Santo Domingo Church in Abucay)
9. Lydia Soriano (Santo Domingo Church in Abucay
10. Gerarda Villa (Saint Catherine of Alexandria in Bagac)
May I humbly invoke the intercession of our almighty God watch over us, protect us and keep us all from harm. May our Blessed Virgin Mary whom we lovingly call Virgen Milagrosa del Rosario del Pueblo de Orani take us in her maternal embrace and protection. May our beloved Diocesan patron, Saint Joseph guide us to the right path and lead us all to our Lord Jesus Christ.
With my prayers and paternal blessings, I remain
Sincerely yours in Christ Jesus,
+Ruperto Cruz Santos, DD
Bishop of Balanga and the CBCP Episcopal Chairman
for Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People