Jesuit Father John J. Martinez died on June 30, 2018, at the Manresa Jesuit Community in Philadelphia at the age of 86.
He was born in Philadelphia on Aug. 23, 1931. He graduated from St. Joseph’s Prep and entered the Society of Jesus at the Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues in Wernersville, Pennsylvania, in 1949. After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Bellarmine College in Plattsburg, New York, he went on to get his licentiate in philosophy and master’s in teaching from Loyola Seminary in Shrub Oak, New York, his Licentiate of Sacred Theology from Woodstock College in Maryland, and a master’s in mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh. He was ordained a priest on June 17, 1962.
Fr. Martinez taught math at Loyola High School in Baltimore both as a scholastic and following ordination. In 1968, he became pastoral minister at Corpus Christi Church in Baltimore and provided urban social work at the Ferdinand Wheeler House. He moved to Buffalo, New York, in 1972 where he served Canisius College as the director of Intergroup Relations and Urban Development, as well as providing urban development work for St. Ann’s Rectory.
In 1978, Fr. Martinez returned to his high school alma mater, St. Joseph’s Prep in Philadelphia where he taught math for four years. He then taught math at Gonzaga High School in Washington, D.C., until 1988, also serving as a pastoral minister. He then spent two years as a Hispanic apostolate for Sacred Heart Church in Vineland, New York, before becoming pastor for fourteen years at St. John’s Church in Dinwiddie, Virginia.
Fr. Martinez came to the Jesuit Center in Wernersville, Pennsylvania, in 2006 to serve in pastoral ministry.