Fr. Joey, as fondly called by his friends was born in Manila on May 12, 1962 to a soft-spoken, God-fearing and loving couple, Mr. Federico Timbreza Artienda and Mrs. Eusebia Ambre Artienda, who both served at Holy Spirit Manila in their prime years. Fr. Joey is a native of Laang, Lagangilang, Abra.
He is 2nd among six siblings – 2 boys and 4 girls. Three now live in Canada and one is in the United States while one of his sisters and him are in the Philippines.
As a young boy, Fr. Joey, dreamt of becoming an architect and he did well in school as he graduated with flying colors in Elementary and High School at Holy Cross School- Lagngilang Abra. But with the prayers of his parents – his mother most of all, and with the encouragement of Fr. Agustin Selcher, SVD and our beloved former president Fr. Antonio Alagao, SVD, Fr. Joey realized he was for the mission and entered the seminary after his graduation in high school.
He started AB Philosophy at Christ the King Mission Seminary in Quezon City and later transferred to Divine Word Mission Seminary in Tagaytay City, where he finished Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Theology degrees. He confided that due to his good grades, he and a few classmates, including our former Campus Minister Fr. Glenn Paul Gomez, were qualified to simultaneously earn Baccalaureate in Sacred Theology and received a diploma from the Pontificia Università Urbaniana or the Pontifical Urban University of Rome, Italy.
Fr. Nerio Joseph A. Artienda, SVD was ordained priest on December 17, 1988 at St. James the Elder Cathedral in Bangued, Abra. Soon after his ordination, he was assigned missionary to Ecuador, South America. While waiting for the processing of his papers, he served as assistant parish priest in Malibcong and Peñarubia, Abra for a few months and was assigned Assistant Campus Minister in Divine Word College of Bangued before he flew to Ecuador in 1989.
For several years, Fr. Joey was assigned pastoral work in the most difficult mission station in South America. The 3,000 feet high mission station at the Andes Range became his home together with one of the indigenous tribes of Ecuador known as the Quichua. Life then was not easy for him as he had to be tough in order to survive and fulfill his mission as an SVD Missionary.
Within his 23 years stay in Ecuador, Fr. Joey was given an opportunity to go on a study leave and thus, he enrolled in graduate studies on Missiology at St. Paul University in Canada. Like before, his good grades qualified him to simultaneously enroll Mission Studies at Ottawa University where he was bestowed with Academic Excellence equivalent to Magna Cum Laude in both post baccalaureate course.
Upon his return to Ecuador, Fr. Joie then became the Provincial Superior and at the same time a professor at the Jesuit-run Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Ecuador and at the major seminar where he taught Theology, Mission Studies and Missiology. Because of his active involvement in the Catholic Community, he was tasked by the bishops to take charge of the Mission Formation in the Ecuadorian equivalent of the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines.
After 23 years as a missionary in Ecuador, Fr Joie thought of coming home to the Philippines in 2012. In February 2013, he was requested help in Divine Word College of Bangued as Finance Officer. At DWCB, he devised means to uplift the financial status of the school. Few months after, in November 13, he was appointed President of DWCB. He remained president of the college until May 31, 2017 before he was appointed new President of Divine Word College of Laoag.
Fr. Joey is described by his relatives and friends as man of words. He weighs things – considering the pros and cons of matters before he decides. Once he has given his words, he stands by and for it. He is always remembered as a generous, patient, simple and sweet – malambing son, brother and friend. He truly possesses the qualities of a good architect as he is artistic, loves doing structural sketches and a good planner too. He love animals and treats them more than pets. He laments that he had to leave them behind in Ecuador when he returned to the country. Nonetheless, those pooches where replaced by the ever-popular Silver and Sunshine, his golden retrievers, who accompanies him as he takes his walk in school or when he supervises his projects.
Fr. Joey is not the typical administrator who enjoys the comfort of his air-conditioned office for he is seldom seated there. He rather walks around – going from one office to another, asking how matters and things are done. He quietly passes by the classrooms making informal observation. At times, he might even enter while the teacher or instructor is delivering lessons. This information is affirmed by friends from Abra who used to teach at DWCB. So colleagues, always be ready. J
He seems not busy, but mind you – his mind is always on the go as his keen eyes don’t miss even the minutest paper and candy wrapper scattered around.
As the new president of DWCL, Fr. Joey brings a wealth of administrative experience we seek as well as both visionary and operational strengths. He has a deep commitment to service and to the value of the DWCL mission-vision as well as to diversity, to mentoring and to finding meaningful avenues for interdisciplinary collaboration.
Fr. President’s philosophy is very simple. He believes that we should be thankful and not be grateful that we receive. Instead, we should be grateful because we can still share.written by Ms. Shey-Pia G. Abaya