A Spiritual Father


Courtesy Fr. Paul

Father Martin and Father Paul pose for a picture while out on a hike.

Megan Garvey, Sports Editor

Many on campus know Father Martin. He is always ready with a warm smile, welcoming words, wise knowledge for spiritual direction, and cheers for Dons athletes. He prides himself on being a “spiritual father” for the Cathedral Catholic High School community, and keeps in touch with students long after they have walked across the stage at graduation. 

Father Martin was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He attended Catholic school and studied in both English and Spanish. He describes the experience as “very formative,” noting it was his high school that gave him “a lot of faith formation.” 

It was also during this time that he realized it was his vocation to join the priesthood. He went on multiple mission trips and retreats, including one in Patagonia. The experiences were “transformational,” and Father Martin began to see his calling. 

He also saw the opportunity to become a spiritual father, caring for the faithful. He explained, “I was very drawn to the idea of being a father and I didn’t know that by being a priest you are not denying the possibility of being a father, but you are welcomed to be a spiritual father.”

After spending his senior year discerning his vocation, Father Martin felt “determined to answer that call that had been present in [his] soul” to become a Priest. He entered into the Miles Christi order of priests and began his studies. He would study for ten years – half of them in his native Argentina – and the other half in Detroit, Michigan. He was officially ordained on April 9th 2005, and will be celebrating seventeen years in the priesthood next year. 

As a member of Miles Christi, Father Martin primary works with students in high school and college. 

“I wanted to serve as a priest but serve particularly young men and women in the context of their formation education.”

He credits his high school years as being formative in his faith journey, and wanted to “do for others what God and others had done for me.”

Father Martin first came to Cathedral in 2010 and began aiding in spiritual direction as well as the forming of boys and girls groups. He shared that spiritual direction is one of his favorite opportunities at Cathedral because it allows him to help students grow in “their spiritual life, and their prayer life, and their interior life, and their friendship with Jesus.” 

When Father Martin brings up Cathedral’s sports teams, a wide smile crosses his face. He radiates with pride as he shares that he also enjoys being present for some of the school’s sporting events. He likes to think about “how to connect and combine the life of faith with sports.”

Mrs. Stacey Wells recalls Father Martin welcoming her to the school and telling her that she “should be sure and go to all the games of every sport [she] could because the kids are so great. Father Paul agreed, noting that Father Martin loves sports and being outdoors – whether it be hiking in Idyllwild or enjoying the waves. 

As I interviewed for this article, the word that kept coming up surrounding Father Martin was welcoming. Father Paul shared that “probably the most important thing is that [Father Martin] is so welcoming.” Wells agreed, recalling Father Martin helping her during her first days in the Mission and Ministry Office, while Mr. Jeff Gramme described Father Martin as “just one of the most welcoming people I know.” I would have to agree. During our interview Father Martin instantly made me feel comfortable, asking me about my college sweatshirt and sharing stories of his travels to different universities and their Neiman Centers. It’s easy to see how he remains present in the lives of his students as they enter college and beyond. He shared how he recently married two Cathedral alumni from the class of 2011, and was preparing another graduate for the Sacrament. 

Ultimately, Father Martin wants to extend the joy the Lord has brought him. “I just [want] to share that joy of the faith with others.”

Father Martin in front of the Saint Therese Chapel on Cathedral’s campus. (Stacy Wells)