Celebrating 50 years in Carmel

The Carmelites in the Philippines recently celebrated the 50th year anniversary of Fr. Paul Edison Medina, O.Carm. as a Carmelite with the celebration of the Eucharist in the Carmelite-administered Sagrada Familia Parish in Bagong Silangan, Quezon City.

Considered as the first Filipino Carmelite to be formed in the Philippines, Fr. Paul was born on March 24, 1947 in Tigbao, Calatrava, Negros Occidental.

In his message to Fr. Paul, Fr. Bernard Roosendaal, O.Carm., one of the first Dutch Carmelite missionaries to come to the Philippines, recalled how Fr. Paul had to a walk long distances during school days just so he could attend the Carmelite-administered East Negros Academy.

“Paul was making that journey for four years. No wonder that the spirit of journeying had been very much part of Paul’s fifty years being a Carmelite,” said Fr. Bernard.

“As director I had to officiate the first graduation ceremony under the administration of the Carmelites. One of the graduates was Paul Medina and I was privileged to hand-over to Paul his  ENA high school diploma,” he recalled.

The celebration started with a Eucharistic celebration officiated by Fr. Paul with several of his closest priest friends concelebrating, including the Very Rev. Msgr. Hernando Coronel, CP, rector of the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene in Quiapo, Manila. It was then followed by dinner and a short program that highlights the contribution of Fr. Paul to the Order and the Church, as well as expressions of gratitude from his Carmelite brothers and friends.

Fr. Paul first professed his vows to the Order on May 10, 1969 and was ordained a priest on May 5, 1974. It wasn’t until almost 20 years after that another Filipino professed his vows to the Order. Fr. Paul is part of the Manila Formation Community and is based at the Spring of Carmel Novitiate House in Tandang Sora, Quezon City where he assists Frs. Aries Escobal and Melvin Loronio in the spiritual formation of the novices. (By Br. Ritche T. Salgado, O.Carm.)