Pedro Medina De Arteaga, graduate of Gimnasio de Los Cerros school, ordained as priest

Let's talk face to face with one of our priest graduates, like him, various have taken this path in their lives, always with the support and determination that our school provides.

Monsignor Ricardo Garcia, bishop of the Prelature of Yauyos-Cañete (Peru) ordained 24 priests from 9 countries in the Basilica of St. Eugene in Rome on May 21, 2022. Among the new priests are two Colombians: David Samudio Torres and Pedro Medina de Arteaga, a graduate of the Los Cerros Gymnasium in the class of 2009.

Pedro Medina de Arteaga is a physician. He began his studies at the Universidad de La Sabana in Bogotá and concluded his career at the Universidad del Valle. Subsequently, he studied theology in Rome and a doctorate in moral theology in Pamplona.

After his ordination, he will spend some time in Spain and we trust that he will soon return to the country to exercise his priestly ministry. From Alumni Cerros we send him our congratulatory greetings and our prayers that all the blessings received will bear much fruit. Also, to his family for this special grace, our greetings and recognition.

Los Cerros Gymnasium - Sacerdote Pedro Medina de Arteaga

  1. What made you decide to become a priest? What were your motivations? 

The question of motivation always manages to get to the heart of things and for that reason I am grateful for it because it helps me to talk about what is the reason for my life: God motivated me. Being a priest was not something that I had always been looking for and that I have finally achieved, it was not like that. God motivated me and what made me say yes to this undeserved call was the illusion of spending my life in serving others. I learned that desire to serve at home, it was developed during school and my medical career strengthened it. Now I see the movie better: each step was part of the call to the priesthood that God had prepared for me.

I imagine that "I do it because I want to serve people" sounds like a cliché. Also, when I was asked in interviews about my choice to study medicine, it sounded like a cliché. I wanted to be a doctor and have many children when I was in school, but God showed me that he needed me, that he wanted me to give him everything, because he would make my dreams come true. And it has been like that and I prove it every day. I believe that the priesthood is a good example of those great tasks in life that are not sought directly, but that you find within a path that you always have to choose: whether to spend your life in service or just to serve life to spend it. It is a good question to know what motivates me: what am I good for?

Our world needs God. Of course God sustains the world and without God it is difficult to fulfill the mission that people have in life. But there is something even more powerful: the world needs God to be present in the life of each one of us. To understand that the question to solve is not so much who am I? What am I for? But rather: "Who am I for?", that helps a lot to solve this type of vocational questions.

  1. What are your main challenges as a priest?

To tell you the truth, I don't know yet. The question helps me to think about it. Right now I am working on my doctorate in moral theology and I have only been a priest for a couple of months. Therefore, the first challenge is to finish my thesis on the psychological aspects of vocation and to prepare myself well to be a good spiritual guide.

I think the main challenges have to do with being a bridge between God and young people, because I am a young priest. I have been studying all my life and that is very useful, but it has its risks. This deepening in philosophy and theology that I have been fortunate enough to have done serves to have very clear ideas, but does not necessarily imply knowing how to transmit them. There are very interesting challenges that have to do with the question of motivation in life: how best to convey the greatness of vocation in the midst of so many inputs that lead us to be individualistic, hedonistic or simply indifferent to others? That is the great challenge, to connect with people and help us to be more connected, not only virtually.

  1. What does it mean to be a Cerros graduate priest? Is there anything special about coming from where you come from and having studied where you studied? Any additional responsibilities?

No additional responsibility. I believe that the priesthood in itself implies giving everything. As for the "specialness" of my roots, I will say a few things. I am the son of Catholic parents who live their faith on a daily basis. They have been married for 33 years and are happy with my priesthood. For me the house, the family home, was a constant incentive to live with God's face and with the idea of serving others. In fact, I ended up following in the footsteps of my father, a radiologist.

At the same time, the Gimnasio de Los Cerros school helped me a lot in my human and spiritual formation. I remember a spiritual retreat that helped me to get to know myself and I also remember the social work we did. Undoubtedly, my entire academic life would not have been possible without the foundation that Cerros gave me. But above all, the most special thing is the good friends I made, who continue to accompany me.

In addition, I would say that I owe Cerros an optimistic and firm attitude in many aspects of life that most young women now ignore. He helped me to have a clear north. I think I managed to breathe a more humanistic culture that has been a hallmark. I am referring to the reading of literature and history books, the taste for the arts, music, poetry. Although it is true that efforts can continue to be made to strengthen that humanistic line, now the scientific part of teaching (which I value highly) has displaced it and there is a risk of a very technical but not very humanizing education.

Los Cerros Gymnasium is an inspiration to find your vocation, alumni speak out.

  1. How did Los Cerros Gymnasium influence your vocational decision?

As I said, I think the home is very influential. The awareness that God is good and that he has a plan for our life, starting from our good and bad things, is learned in the family. In that sense, Cerros promoted that foundation sown at home, which is already a lot. Concretely, that desire to serve was well channeled into extracurricular and club activities.

When I decided to get serious about what God wanted for my life, I had recently done a work camp in Bahia Malaga, in the Pacific. It was only later that I realized that those training and social activities we did in the Delta club and then with the IB CAS really woke me up to take life seriously. I was pretty lazy, I was taking arts and geography to Recoveries. But when I understood that I couldn't waste my talents and that my time was valuable to others, I changed a lot and that made me very happy.

  1. What message would you send to the children and youth of the Los Cerros Gymnasium?

Considering that I am also one of those young people from Cerros, I would talk to them about friendship.

I would try to explain to them what I have experienced very well: that what is important in life is not only to be fulfilled professionally (to accomplish everything as one imagines it should be) but also to know how to always respond well to those who love you well. In my case, all that ideal of being a doctor has not failed because I became a priest... on the contrary, my medical vocation has been strengthened. That is to say that dreams come to nothing if they are mine alone; it is better when dreams are ours, and make us grow with others.

I would add a more concrete message: one of the things that help the most to be happy in life is to be a good friend, that is, to take care of your friends, to be loyal and capable of suffering for them. To be there for them in good times and bad. The best teacher of that friendship is Jesus, who never leaves us alone, who wants our happiness. As St. John Paul II said to young people: do not let your hope be stolen, do not be afraid to be happy, to commit your life. Jesus takes nothing away. The happiness we seek is not far from God. On the contrary: the main ally to be happy is Jesus, he is the best friend we can have.

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