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Fr. Manual Ediza

Fr. Manny's Biography by Father Theodatus Sofia

Father Manny, as many people, relatives and friends, used to call him, is a second among the children of five, born to Mr. and Mrs. Augustine Ediza on June 17, 1954. His mother’s name is Segunda, a retired schoolteacher. His father, Augustine, was a World War II veteran, who fought with the Americans side by side against the Japanese; became a schoolteacher after the war, and later retired as School Principal; went into farming and at the same time turned out to be a loved politician. His town folks loved him so much, that he never lost any election.

At the age of twelve, Father Manny entered the seminary with his friends but without the intention of becoming a priest. He said that his ambition in life while he was a kid was to become a doctor of medicine. However, he finished high school in Pope John XXXIII Seminary, Cebu City, Philippines at the age of sixteen. Out of five of his friends who went in the seminary, only Father Manny stayed to finish high school, not because of any reason, but because he learned to play basketball and he liked it so much.

He pursued his college studies in the seminary, and graduated college in San Carlos Seminary College in Cebu City, Philippines in 1974. By then he was twenty years old. His bishop, the late Julio Cardinal Rosales, discovering in him the good material for priesthood, sent him to Divine Word Seminary in Tagaytay City, Philippines to continue his four year-theological studies (1974-1979). With him was another seminarian who later became a bishop and currently the Ordinary of the Diocese of Dumaguete, Negros Oriental, Bishop John Du.

On June 1, 1979, Father Manny, a few days before reaching his 24th birthday, was ordained to the priesthood by the late Archbishop of Cebu, Philippines, His Eminence Julio Cardinal Rosales. Conferred on him on that day too was a “STB Degree (Baccalaureate of Sacred Theology)”, with CUM LAUDE honor in it by PONTIFICA UNIVVERSITAS URBANIANA, ROME.

From 1979 to 1983, Father Manny worked in his home diocese in Cebu, Philippines as an Associate Pastor then became pastor of the same parish.

Father Manny’s hunger for missionary work and idealism drove him to ask permission from his new bishop, Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, Archbishop of Cebu, Philippines to work in the mission. Cardinal Vidal sent him to Paua New Guinea for about ten years (late part of 1983 to 1993). In those years, Father Manny was appointed a pastor and later added to his pastorate was another responsibility. Father Manny was appointed a Diocesan Director for Catholic Schools. Later on, Father Manny was appointed Chaplain of the University of Papua New Guinea. In his parish, he was pastor, the chief, the sacristan, the carpenter, the doctor, the police and the judge… the jack-of-all-trades.

As spiritual mentor, I know him as a man full of dedication and commitment. One thing I admire of him is his calmness to handle difficult situations. Among priests in the mission in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea, he was looked up as a leader and a good friend. He is kind hearted, generous, easy to approach, and always there, ready to help. Father Manny has broader horizon of understanding in many things, and he developed the art of listening that makes up great patience. Father Manny is a leader, a shepherd and a good teacher.

In 1994, after ten years and having completed his contract in the mission, Father Manny came to the United States for vacation. However, with the permission of his Bishop, Cardinal Ricardo Vidal, he ended up working for the Diocese of San Diego with the endorsement of Father Jovencio Ricafort, his good friend while still in the seminary.

From 1994 to 1996, Father Manny was an Associate Pastor of Good Shepherd Parish in Mira Mesa (San Diego), California. In 1996, Father Manny was appointed as Chaplain of Sharp Memorial and Children’s Hospital. In November 2003, Bishop Robert H. Brom incardinated him into the Diocese of San Diego. Since then, he was assigned to St. Kieran in El Cajon (2004 to 2006), then to St. Mary’s in El Centro as the Pastor (2006 to 2007), and currently as Pastor to St. Michael Church in Paradise Hills, San Diego.

His academic achievements are as follows:

  • Certified Supervisory Pastoral Management (2007)
  • CPE – Clinical Pastoral Education (1997 and 1998)
  • STB – Baccalaureate of Sacred Theology, Cum Laude (1979)
  • Media and Communication (1978)
  • Business and Pastoral Administration (1977)
  • AB-BSEE in Philosophy (1974)

He speaks the following languages:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog (Philippine national language)
  • Cebuano (his mother’s tongue)
  • Pidgin (Papua New Guinea national language)
  • Motu (one of the many languages in Papua New Guinea)
  • Latin (read and understand)
  • Greek (a little)

At one time, when I visited Father Manny’s parents, his mother told me that Father Manny was the black sheep in the family and that the town folks did not believe that he would become a priest when he entered the seminary. His mother described her son as an adventurous, smart little boy who was always eager to learn many things while growing up, but can be stubborn when he became mad. Perhaps it is true in the words of the Bible that “it’s not you who chose me, but I chose you” or the famous biblical quote, “many are called but few are chosen” applies well because out of 48 of his classmates in the seminary from high school, only four became ordained and two of those have left the priesthood already.