Note: This article was translated from the original Spanish text written by the Provincial Secretary of the Province of Candelaria.
The Augustinian Recollect Cardinal received the highest recognition of the country for his social and religious work from the president of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, especially with the celebration of WYD.
PANAMA–Augustinian Recollect José Luis Cardinal Lacunza was conferred last Friday, May 31, 2019, with the Order Vasco Núñez de Balboa, in Grado de Gran Cruz. The President of Panama, Juan Carlos Varela, gave the highest recognition of the country to the bishop of David and the bishop of Panama, the Augustinian Bishop Jose Domingo Ulloa, in a simple ceremony in the Presidential Palace of the Herons.
Panama gave homage in this way to the two bishops of the Augustinian family for their work in the social and religious field. Among other things, these bishops have been important figures in the organization of the World Youth Day (WYD) that took place last January in Panama. In addition to this, Lacunza and Ulloa are two references for the Panamanian Church and society.
The President conferred this honor to the two bishops “in the name of the Government of the Republic and the Panamanian people.” He also said, “Today, we distinguish with the award Vasco Núñez de Balboa to two extraordinary priests and missionaries for their valuable service to the country and for their contributions to the Nation in the social, religious, humanitarian field and for their recognized public trajectories at the service of the community and the progress of our country.”
Cardinal Lacunza assured that the award affirms that all his work has been for the benefit of Panama and renews his commitment to continue doing the best for the country, according to the newspaper La Prensa .
The Order of Vasco Núñez de Balboa received by Cardinal José Luis Lacunza was previously given to the Order of Augustinian Recollects and to the Augustinian Recollect Benjamin Ayechu, founder of the San Agustín School and the San María la Antigua Catholic University (USMA).