Last Thursday, the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan announced that they will be launching a new award in honor of the late Archbishop Oscar Cruz.
The award, called the “Gawad Asin tan Silew Oscar V. Cruz Award’, will honor “individual and institutional prophets in this contemporary world who stand for integrity, justice, and charity. It aims to keep Archbishop Oscar Cruz’s legacy alive.
“[It] recognizes persons or institutions whose works teach the path of justice and righteousness, of truth and goodness, with joy and hope and with holy anger tempered by love and contagious courage,” said Archbishop Socrates Villegas. The award aims to keep Archbishop Cruz’s legacy alive. (Read: How you can turn your hobby into a personal advocacy)
Guidelines for the award
According to the released guidelines for the award, only one winner will be chosen every year, unless the Selection Committee opts to choose more than one awardee. The award is open to both Catholics and non-Catholics, as long as they are Filipino citizens or are Philippine-based institutions.
The nomination period begins every August 26–Archbishop Cruz’s death anniversary–and winners will be announced every November 17, the late archbishop’s birth anniversary. (Read: Prayer for Families Facing a Loved One’s Death This Quarantine)
The Selection Committee is “headed by the Archbishop of Lingayen Dagupan with committee members composed of two clerics, one religious woman and one lay leader.” Awardees will receive a miniature replica of Archbishop Cruz’s bust, and a cash prize that the Selection Committee will donate to the awardee’s charitable institution of choice.
Archbishop Cruz’s legacy
Archbishop Oscar Cruz served the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan for 18 years until his retirement in 2009. He was an advocate against gambling, and was at the forefront in the fight against corruption and similar issues in society. (Read: 3 Prayers of Guidance and Enlightenment for Government Leaders)
The archbishop was also vocal in his criticisms about the presidents he had seen serve the people throughout his religious career, including the current president of the Philippines, Rodrigo R. Duterte. A canon lawyer, the prelate also criticized the Catholic Church’s abuses, and published a book (among many) entitled “CBCP Guidelines on Sexual Abuse and Misconduct: A Critique”.
Archbishop Cruz passed away in 2020, at 85 years old, due to multiple organ failure secondary to severe COVID-19 infection. He is buried at the Santuario de San Juan de Evangelista.