Bishop Roberto Gaa of Novaliches granted a papal award to Civil Engineer Noli Vitug for his philanthropic efforts.
Engr. Vitug received the medal of the Order of St. Sylvester during Mass at the Holy Cross Parish Church in Amparo, Caloocan City. The award, according to the bishop, is the Church’s affirmation of Vitug’s service to the diocese.
The Pontifical Award for the Sylvester Order is given to individuals for their invaluable support to the Catholic Church. (Read: Serving Communities: Modern Filipino Heroes)
It is also one of the five orders of knighthood in the Church awarded by the Pope to laypeople actively involved in the Church’s mission.
While receiving the papal award is a “big honor,” Bishop Gaa reminded Vitug of the “big responsibility” that goes with it. (Read: Pope Francis Grants Two-Year Indulgence to Calamba Parish in Laguna)
“It is just an affirmation but it is also a responsibility to continue what you have been doing and maybe even more,” Bishop Gaa said. “We become witnesses, fearless in proclaiming the Gospel truth. In continuing to share the goodness of God, the award does not end it.”
Vitug, a husband and a father of four, is known for his kindness and generosity in and outside the diocese.
He is an owner of a construction firm and has helped many parishes including the building of Kristong Hari Parish along Commonwealth Avenue. He also chairs the pastoral council of the Holy Cross Parish and supports many of its scholars.
Papal awards are normally recommended by diocesan bishops, or of apostolic nuncios.