Father Mena was born in La Vega, Dominican Republic, on December 3, 1969. He entered the Order of Discalced Carmelites in 1985, making his first religious profession on August 15, 1989. He studied philosophy and theology in the Saint Thomas Aquinas Pontifical Seminary in Santo Domingo from 1989 to 1996. He was ordained to the priesthood in his hometown on March 8, 1997.
He studied for his licentiate in moral theology in the Pontifical University of Comillas, Madrid, from 1999 to 2001. He has been a tenured professor of moral theology in the Saint Thomas Aquinas Pontifical Seminary in Santo Domingo and a professor in the Spirituality Institute, which is managed by the Discalced Carmelite Friars and associated to the Catholic University in Santo Domingo. He was also its director from 2005 to 2009.
From 2005 to 2011 he was Regional Vicar of the vicariate of Saint Joseph of the Caribbean, which at the time belonged to the Province of Castile. In 2011 it became a Commissariate, and he was its first Commissary, holding that office from 2011 to 2014.
Most recently he dedicated himself to teaching and to the offices of prior and pastor of our Saint Jude Thaddeus community in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.
His first activity as Definitor General is to collaborate with Fr General in the search for the common good of the Order. For this purpose he has conventuality in the General House in Rome and is involved in the celebration of the various Definitories, ordinary and extraordinary, celebrated in Rome as well in other places of the world.
As well, as Definitor in charge of Latin America and the Carabbean, he must visit our communities of friars, nuns and Secular Carmel, spread throughout 21 countries and 11 regional circumstrictions. Given this makeup, his presence in the communities has the following purpose: to be a bond between the region and the Curia General; to promote among everyone the General projects of the Order; to encourage everyone to live our vocation with all possible fidelity; to assist the process of collaboration of the provinces among themselves; to preside at the General Assembly of the Superiors of Latin America (CICLA: Teresian Carmelite Interregional Conference for Latin Ameica) and to follow up on the commitments arising from it; to preside at the elective General Assemblies in the three Commissariats and the two General Delegations.
Finally, he has to try to be present at the celebrations of congresses, formation congresses, and meetings of the Major Superiors, of friars and nuns and the associated lay Carmel, to help them to grow in what it means to be a Carmelite family sharing the same vocation.