2011 International Church Activity Award
The idea to construct a memorial shrine to Blessed John Paul II was conceived in January 2011 by Bataan Technology Park Incorporated (BTPI) in Morong, Bataan (home to some 400,000 Vietnamese refugees over the years) in order to help strengthen the faith of the local community and honor Blessed John Paul’s historic 1981 visit to the Philippines and his role in giving hope and encouragement to thousands of Indo-Chinese refugees.
Members of Stella Maris Council 4265 in Fort San Felipe, Naval Base Cavite, Cavite City, Luzon , under the leadership of Grand Knight Yodolfo Dellava, assisted BTPI, the pastor of Our Lady of the Pillar Church and the bishop of Balanga by raising funds for the project by soliciting materials or monetary donations and organizing a “Walk for Pope John Paul II” fundraiser May 1, 2011.
The construction of the shrine began February 2, 2011, led by the Knights of Stella Maris Council. The dedication occurred May 2, 2011, the day after Blessed John Paul’s beatification in Vatican City. Thirty-five Knights (28 percent of the council) volunteered 9,800 hours to the project.