James Edward Martinez, O.S.A.

1929 – 2021 (December 16)

James Edward Martinez was born on December 2, 1929, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, the son of Vincent and Anna (Lynch) Martinez. He had two brothers and a twin sister. He was baptized on December 22, 1929, at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Atlantic City, New Jersey. He attended Holy Spirit Parish School, (1935-1942) and Saint Benedict Parish School, (1942-1944), and Holy Spirit High School, (1944-1948). He then worked in the Atlantic City area for a year, before going to Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, as a postulant in September 1949. He was received into the Order as a novice on September 9, 1950, and after a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, he professed first vows on September 10, 1951. He then attended Villanova University, (1951-1954), and received his BA in Philosophy. Then he went to Augustinian College, Washington, DC, for his theological studies, (1954-1958), and did graduate study in Biology at the Catholic University of America. He professed solemn vows on September 10, 1954. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 8, 1957, at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, by Bishop John McNamara.

Fr. Jim was first assigned to Saint Joseph Friary at Msgr. Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, as a teacher, (1958-1959). In 1959, he was assigned to Saint Augustine Parish, Troy, New York, as associate pastor and as a teacher in Troy Catholic High School, (1959-1969). In 1969 he went to the Diocese of Orlando, Florida, to establish Saint Augustine Parish, Casselberry, Florida, and to be the founding pastor, (1969-1977). In 1977 he was assigned as pastor to Our Mother of Consolation Parish, Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, where he served for two years, (1977-1979). In 1979 he was assigned as pastor to Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, where he served for thirty-one years, (1979-2010). In January of 2011, he was named Pastor Emeritus of Good Counsel Parish and assigned to St. Augustine Friary, Villanova, Pennsylvania. Fr. Jim continued to be active in ministry celebrating the sacraments when requested. In October of 2014, for reasons of health, he was assigned to St. Thomas of Villanova Monastery, Villanova, Pennsylvania.

Except for a short time in the education apostolate, Fr. Jim ‘s priesthood was exercised primarily in parochial ministry. His kind, gentle and prayerful demeanor as a pastor in three assignments, and especially during his long and faithful tenure at Our Mother of Good Counsel Parish in Bryn Mawr was a gift to all who knew him. He began every homily with the prayer: “Let us pray for a moment in the silence of our hearts that the Holy Spirit will enlighten us and guide us as we reflect briefly on the readings given to us in this liturgy.” Fr. Jim died suddenly of a heart attack on the afternoon of December 16, 2021. At his death, he was 92 years old and a friar for 70 years.