Remembering Paula Padilla

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Olga López
Paula Padilla
Paula Padilla

By Olga López, trustee, Urantia Foundation, Vilanova i la Geltrú, Spain

Editor’s Note: Paula was a beloved member of Urantia Book International School (UBIS). She joined the Spanish staff in June of 2020 and began facilitating courses in April of 2021.

Paula Padilla, a very active Urantia Book reader in the Latin American community and residing in Cancun, Mexico, continued her journey to Paradise on Friday, May 12. A psychologist by profession, although retired for some years, she was an outstanding student of the Spanish branch of UBIS.

Tireless worker that she was (and I am sure she will continue to be), Paula enthusiastically accepted the invitation to join the UBIS Spanish Branch Faculty Committee.

She soon made another leap to teacher-facilitator when she conducted a beautiful course on the birth and childhood of Jesus. This stage tends to be overlooked, but it contains many valuable teachings which Paula was able to highlight in a brilliant way.

I had the opportunity to meet her in person during the Latin American readers conference held in Bogota, Colombia, in 2016, and I was inspired by her joy, her sense of humor, and her way of celebrating friendship and life. Her enthusiasm was inspiring, and I will always remember her contagious laughter.

As proof of the great mark she left on UBIS, I would like to share a few words from some of her fellow teacher-facilitators:

Ulises Pedrique (United States)

Meeting Paula and feeling her tenderness and warmth was a real delight. Our interactions were few, yet they conveyed her very essence and were deep and enriching. I will treasure them in the depths of my heart.

She bore her ailments, her discomforts, and her final limitations with graciousness; she never complained (at least as far as I know). She never stopped being helpful Paula.

Irma E. Aguilar Meana (Mexico)

Paula's embrace was warm, and she made you feel part of her home. She had a beautiful and gentle strength of presence. She was like a big sister in every sense of the word. Jesus gave us the example; Paula carried it out as much as she could. I regret that I will not be able to hug her anymore in this world, but I am grateful that she has been in my life. In mansonia we will see her.

Ana Isabel Franco (United States)

Last May, for Mother's Day, I went to Cancun for four days. When we were preparing for the trip, I let Paula know the date I was going to be there with the hope of meeting and getting to know her. The days flew by, shared with my family and grandson. By the time Paula replied, I was already back home. But we consoled ourselves that there would be no lack of future opportunities to meet and hug. Exactly one year later, the physical embrace was no longer possible.

We should not leave things pending, hoping to do them later, because certain tomorrows may not come as expected.

Erika Webster (United States)

Paula faithfully showed her spirit of cooperation, she had a subtle yet effective tactic of gaining the commitment of teacher-facilitators to volunteer and facilitate courses. She never missed the goal of having a certain number of courses per term.

A practical and organized coordinator, Paula was effective in her work with the faculty committee, and also as a teacher-facilitator trainer. Her good humor and great disposition were always on display, and she obviously enjoyed what she did. Her presence and persistence helped to generate the necessary number of Spanish courses.

I will always affectionately remember Paula’s dedication, her firm yet tactful treatment of our group, her great organization, and her joy!

Wanda Veloz (Dominican Republic)

Paula, with her sweetness, but also with her firmness, managed to get volunteers to facilitate courses in a very fluid and beautiful way. She was tremendously organized, and when she invited us to meet to talk about the courses to be given, she came prepared! She also managed to recruit mentors for the new facilitators. Who could say no to Paula when she approached it with such enthusiasm, firm subtlety, and joy?

Sometimes I wonder how we will get along without her guidance. But I understand that she showed us with her great example how to continue and keep alive the beautiful legacy she left us—her smile, her wisdom, and her big heart.

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