FORMER UST Museum Director Fr. Jesus Maria Merino Antolinez, O.P. succumbed to a lingering illness last Dec. 18. He was 90.

Fr. Merino served as director of the UST Museum of Arts and Sciences for 30 years, as dean of the Faculty of Sacred Theology, and as professor of Oriental Religion and Culture at the Graduate School. He also became regent of the Reserved Officers Training Corps (ROTC), prefect of libraries, and director of Boletin Eclesiastico de Filipinas, the official publication of the Faculty of Ecclesiastical Studies.

He obtained his Licentiate and Doctorate degrees in Sacred Theology from UST and began teaching in the University in 1936. He retired in 1993.

In 1972, Fr. Merino received the Cross Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice Award, a prestigious papal commendation for services rendered to the Church and to the Holy Father. He was also a recipient of the Catholic Authors Award in 1993.

According to Fr. Fausto Gomez, O.P., dean of the Faculty of Sacred Theology, Fr. Merino was considered the “walking encyclopedia of UST” because he was a very knowledgeable and cultured man.

“He knew about everything, although his main focus is the Bible and culture. He’s very kind and always available whenever someone needs his help,” said Fr. Fausto, a close friend of Fr. Merino.

Gomez added that the greatest contribution of Fr. Merino to the University was his presence in the Museum and in the Faculty. Whenever there were official programs in the University, he said, Fr. Merino was always there to help.

Fr. Merino was a native of Castilla y Leon, Spain. He obtained his degree in Philosophy from Convento de Santo Tomas in Avila, Spain and finished Theology in Lausana, USA. He was ordained to the priesthood on August 10, 1935.

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His remains were laid to rest at the Dominican plot of the Holy Cross Cemetery in San Juan.

Meanwhile, College of Architecture (CA) Prof. Eros Melchor Paredez, 51, died of cardiac arrest last Dec. 11.

Strict as he was, Prof. Melchor Paredes displayed competence and mastery of the subjects he taught, said CA Dean Arch. Augusto Concio in tribute to the late professor.

According to Romina de los Reyes, a student of Paredes in Building Technology, “He made sure students learned from him. He listened to our ideas, which showed how much he cared for his students’ welfare.”

After earning his Architecture degree from UST in March 1974 and passing the Architecture licensure examinations that June, Paredes taught Design and Building Technology from 1974 until his death last month.

According to Ivy Paredes, daughter of the late professor, they were all taken aback by the cause of her father’s death. She said her father kept his ailment to himself, even at the time he was already confined at University of the East-Ramon Magsaysay Hospital.

She added they only found out that their father suffered from a rheumatic heart disease during his younger years.

Paredes’ remains were laid to rest in Cavite last Dec. 16. With a report from Kenneth A. Tagaban

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