SCENE CITY| Highest Papal Award bestowed on Angelina and Pedro San Jose

IT IS not often that a person who has reached the age of 92, lived a full life serving God, receives a blessing from the Vicar of the Catholic Church, recognizing his good deeds and is given the award in the form of a gold medal.

In living his life serving his community, Pedro San Jose,

Pedro San Jose and his wife Angelina received the highest gold medal award from the Diocese of Tagum on Chrism Thursday, April 13, 2017.

The Solemn Investiture of the Papal Award Pro Ecclecia Pontifice (for the Church and Pope Francis) – Highest medal awarded to the Laity by the Pope, was held in the church of Christ the King in Tagum City at 8:00 AM.


ANGELINA and Pedro San Jose at Christ the King Church after receiving their awards


PETE and Nene San Jose and family with their de Leon relatives

The citation includes the words: “Pedro and Angelina – are committed to anything and everything they put themselves in. Their generosity and dedication in serving the Church, especially the poor, magnify their love and loyalty to God. They are true leaders and worthy of emulation”.

A short history of the Croce Pro-Ecclesia Et Pontifice Award and the criteria for the awardees (from the internet).

Cross Pro-Ecclesia Et Pontifice

Taken from The Church Visible, by James-Charles Noonan, Jr.

The Cross for the Church and Pontiff, or Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice, is not a pontifical order; it is characterized as a papal award. Founded by Pope Leo XIII on July 17, 1888, it was intended as an award to mark his fiftieth priestly jubilee, not as a long-standing award. The Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice was intended as Leo XIII’s specific mark of honor, but it continues to outlive the founder. In present times, the award is bestowed on persons, both laypersons and clergy, who have given service to the Church. It is also the papal award that had been traditionally bestowed upon women throughout this century, but, as we have seen, this has changed with the award of the Order of St. Gregory to women.

The original award consisted of the effigy of the reigning pontiff on a round medallion in either gold or silver. The ribbon was of red and white stripes, with a thin yellow stripe imposed upon the white stripe. From the time of Leo XIII until late into the pontificate of Paul VI, the award remained true to this design with the exception of the ribbon, which was altered to half yellow and half white, the heraldic colors of the Holy See. Pope Paul especially loved modern art and altered the insignia of the Greek cross. In the center of the square-like cross are the images of the apostles Peter and Paul. On the cross bar of the Greek cross is the name of the award perpendicular to each of the apostles’ effigies. At the base of the Cross is the name of the reigning pope in Latin, above the papal arms, in modern stylized fashion. At present, the Cross is awarded in gold or gilt only.


THE PAPAL Awardees with the Family and Bishop Wilfredo Manlapaz

It is important to note that the reigning pope is not bound by the motu propio of his predecessors, although seldom are these reversed in the pontificates that immediately follow. The creations of the new awards or the suppression of existing orders, however, is within the jurisdiction of the reigning pope. As such, a return to the traditional forms of the Cross Pro-Ecclesia et Pontifice or a substitution of yet another design is, or course possible in future pontifcates.

2001: Instruction on the Conferral of Papal Honours SECRETARIAT OF STATE

N. 16.846/ON

Diocesan Bishops may propose the conferral of a papal honour upon ecclesiastics and laypersons as a mark of appreciation and recognition of service they have given.

Excerpt of the Bishop’s letter of endorsement to His Holiness:


PETE and Nene with Gov. Anthony del Rosario, Former Vice Governor Baby Suaybaguio and the Mother Butler Members

May I endorse to Your Holiness the couple from this Diocese, MR. PEDRO “PETE” B. SAN JOSE, 90 years old, and MRS. ANGELINA D. SAN JOSE, 87 years old, for a Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award. In my 30 years as Local Ordinary of the Diocese, I have witnessed how the couple generously shared themselves to their family, the civic community and various organizations they have been affiliated to, and especially their conspicuous and selfless services to the Church. Having positively influenced the different sectors they have represented, Mr. and Mrs. San Jose have exemplified living the Christian ideals in their family and professional life.

Mr. San Jose started his career as an Educator in a non-sectarian school, Harvardian Colleges, in the early 50s. From the ranks, he gradually rose to become the Dean. With his leadership, he later became the Director of another college, the University of Mindanao Tagum College (UMTC), and since then, he has been serving the academe for more than half a century in an executive position. In fact, even after his retirement, the management of the University of Mindanao (UM), with more than 40 thousand students in its nine (9) campuses in the Davao Region, has continued employing his services until today.

For many years, Mr. San Jose was also elected as a government official – as Barangay Councilor (1964-1968), Provincial Board Member (1987-1995), and Vice-Governor of Davao del Norte (1995-1998). During his stint in the government, he passed landmark legislations such as scholarship to poor but deserving students and providing residential lots to around 300 lowly employees, uplifting their economic conditions.


PETE and Nene with UM Group

Aside from being a public servant, Mr. San Jose has been actively serving the local Church through his parish and the Diocese. He is a longtime member and officer of the Knights of Columbus. He is also a Lay Liturgical Minister and once as the president of this apostolate. He also took the lead in the Building Commission of the Christ the King Cathedral Parish, and others. Today, Mr. San Jose continues to dedicate his time with his family, his profession and other affiliations, and especially the Church.

On the other hand, Mrs. San Jose started her profession as educator and later on as public servant. While serving the government in various positions, she also committed herself several apostolates and ministries of the Church. She once became the past Regional Chairman and Diocesan President of the Catholic Women’s League (CWL); Founder, Vice President (National Council) and Diocesan President of Mother Butler Mission Guild (Diocese of Tagum); Family Life Workshop Diocesan President of Daughters of Mary Immaculate (DMI); Program Director of Catholic Relief Services – Diocesan Nutrition and Livelihood Program (CRS-DNLP), and others. She is also an active Member of the Board of Trustees of the Gloria Christi Regis Center for Street and Abandoned Children, Tagum City, which is an apostolate of the Diocese of Tagum and the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM) Sisters. Today, Mrs. San Jose serves as consultant especially to the CWL and MBMG. She was also a recipient to several awards including a Diocesan Recognition for her dedicated service especially as Project Director of the CRS-DNLP.

Mr. and Mrs San Jose have been blessed with six children (one already passed away), all professionals and have families of their own. In 1999, they became a National Awardee for the Huwarang Pamilyang Pilipino (Model Filipino Family) through a national search by the Department of Social Welfare and Development in 1999. The Diocese of Tagum also conferred on them an award as Model Christian Family.

The witnessing of the faith of the couple have inspired many of our faithful especially those who have personally encountered them. Conferring them with a Papal Award will not only be their honor, but also for our Christian community.

Thank you, Allen and Chiqui Aportadera and Arleen San Jose-Aportadera for the photos.

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