SHE’S not your ordinary state ambassador.

UST alumna Leonida Laki-Vera, who received her Accountancy degree from the University in 1956, was appointed as the new Philippine Ambassador to the Vatican City. During her oath taking, she vowed to work hard for the welfare of Filipino migrants in Rome, while still working for various religious and civic causes.

A recipient of the prestigious “Dame” of the Pontifical Order of St. Sylvester and St. Gregory, Vera replaced Ambassador Francisco Alba, who retired last November.

“As a broadcast-personnel, Vera was instrumental in the 1986 Edsa revolution. She will remain to be an asset to the nation and to the Church as an active church worker,” said retired Manila Archbishop Jaime Cardinal Sin in support of her appointment.

Prior to her appointment, Vera spent many years of involvement in various religious projects, activities, and movements. She chaired the finance committee of international and national Catholic congresses and meetings, the latest of which was the 4th World Meeting of Families held in Manila early last year.

According to Prof. Fe Bruselas, liaison officer of College of Commerce Alumni Foundation Inc., Vera is a “philanthropist who believes so much in the power of prayers”. “She believes that the lack of objection to her appointment was the result of divine intervention,” she told the Varsitarian.

At present, Vera is an officer of several church and civic organizations, among them are, Caritas Manila (member, board of trustees), FBS Radio Network (board president), Lever Properties Corporation (board chairperson), Council of the Laity of Manila (treasurer), Children’s Rosary Foundation (acting chairperson and president), and Philippine Foundation for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled (director). She is also a member of the United Nations Development Fund for Women and Catholic Women’s Club.

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Previously, Vera was the director and secretary of the Kapisanan ng mga Broadcaster sa Pilipinas (KBP), and the former president of the Catholic Women’s League of Sanctuario de San Antonio.

In 1995, Vera received an outstanding alumna award in community service from the UST College of Commerce.

In her recent meeting with the Pope, the Pontiff saw the Philippines as the “light” for the evangelization of Asia. In reiterating Vera’s responsibility as ambassador, the Pope asked the Thomasian alumna to work for a peaceful global community, and administer actions based on justice and equality.

“Ambassadors should influence the youth to discover the moral and spiritual values that will allow them to grasp the meaning of their personal lives”, he said.

With reports from www.news.ops.gov, and www.rcam.org.

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