On March 23, 2007, the Order of Malta Philippines celebrated its 50th anniversary with a Conventual Mass held at the Arzobispado Chapel, Intramuros, Manila. The mass was officiated by His Eminence Gaudencio Cardinal B. Rosales, DD. Concelebrating with him were His Excellency The Most Reverend Fernando Filoni, Apostolic Nuncio in the Philippines, Magistral Chaplains Msgr. Esteban Lo and Msgr. Francisco G. Tantoco, Jr., and guest priests Fr. Reginald Malicdem, Fr. Wilfredo Benito, OFM, and Fr. Baltazar Obico, OFM-Franciscan Minister Provincial.

More than 100 participants were in attendance, including the members of the Order of Malta, headed by President Don Ernesto B. Rufino, Jr., His Excellency Amb. Jimmy Yim of the Embassy of Malta, Charges d’Affaires Mr. Antonio Oppen, and UE Ambassador Leonida L. Vera. The families of the deceased members of the Order, two awardees of the Order Amb. Rafael A. Gonzales and Amb. Jose Lino Guerrero also graced the occasion.

The homily was delivered by the Cardinal and the message prior to the final blessing was given by the Apostolic Nuncio. The President Don Ernesto Rufino also delivered a speech before the celebration ended. St. Paul Manila Choir provided the music for the liturgical celebration.

During the event, a posthumous award was given to the late Don Leocadio de Asis, GCM for the work that he did for the Order in his active years. The Certificate, signed by the Grand Chancellor, was received by widow Doña Liliana de Asis, Dame of Magistral Grace, and his only child, Atty. Frankie de Asis.

A luncheon followed the liturgical service. Doña Delza Lazatin invited Ms. Stephanie Reese, a soprano, to sing for the event. Don Miguel Ma. Guerrero, 50th Anniversary Chairperson, introduced Ms. Cynthia Yim, wife of Ambassador of Malta to the Philippines Jimmy Yim, who also rendered songs. Mr. Constancio Cadelina, former Executive Secretary of the Order of Malta, also sang for the occasion.

Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem of Rhodes and of Malta

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