Take 5 with Father: Called to serve. Again.

North Texas Catholic
(Jan 28, 2022) Take-Five-With-Father

Father John Martin, in St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Pilot Point.

Father John Martin, in St. Thomas Aquinas Church in Pilot Point (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

HE IS: Father John Martin, pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Pilot Point for three years. He also served as parochial vicar at St. Francis Assisi Parish in Grapevine.

GROWING UP: His parents taught him about God and morality, but they did not attend church. Watching a televised Mass as a boy introduced him to the beauty of the Catholic liturgy.

CALLED TO SERVE: He enlisted in the U.S. Marines and served nine years. When he was stationed in Okinawa, Japan, he studied the faith and was baptized and confirmed at the Easter Vigil Mass in 1988.

CALLED FOR MORE: He felt the call to become a priest but was told he was “too old.” He worked for more than 20 years in quality assurance for Bell Helicopter, but still felt the occasional tug to a religious vocation. His pastor at St. John the Apostle Parish encouraged him to contact the vocations office.

Two years later, he entered Sacred Heart Seminary in Hales Corner, Wisconsin.

“It basically came to a point where I saw the light. He’s been knocking all this time, but He was like, ‘Now’s the time.’ For so long, you can go around His plan, but then He’s going to curve around and come at you head on.” 

ORDAINED: May 20, 2017, at St. Patrick Cathedral.

ON-THE-JOB TRAINING: Fr. Martin admitted that being a pastor has some similarities to being a businessman, because you oversee a budget and property, and you practice time management. 

“You have to have a team you can rely on,” and he added the parish volunteers and staff, plus a supportive bishop, enable him to maintain his priestly life of prayer and spiritual reading.

POWER UP: Fr. Martin arrives 60 to 90 minutes before each Mass to pray, and he prays the Rosary with parishioners immediately before Mass.

NEED TO KNOW: At Mass, “heaven is really coming down and commingling with earth. God is really present, and we need to be conducting ourselves as such. When you ring that bell … that’s when the Mass starts and every little action from there until you walk out the door at the end [signifies] something real is going on.”

Father John Martin, St. Thomas Aquinas Parish, Pilot Point, mass, called, serve, Take 5, trending-english