Deacon Bob Martin
|When I came to the parish in 1974 I was preoccupied with raising a family of four boys, and running my own business which required extensive travel. Since then I have experienced a broad spectrum of challenges in my faith and secular lives. So how does one cope, survive, and thrive in an environment of such dynamic change?
I believe it is through the gifts of the Holy Spirit, received in the Sacraments of Initiation that prepared me to be open to serve the church in the role as Deacon. These gifts were fostered and nurtured in a loving family and a Catholic education. ...
One thing is quite evident, God does not let go. Having lost the mother of my children and two other family members in a short period of time I was stripped bare. Yet, our loving, compassionate, and merciful Lord gifted me with a new love, a new extended family, and real joy. My wife Judy and I are proud of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. We expect to see further additions to our family as we enjoy our retirement.
Five years after my marriage to Judy I sensed a calling to the Diaconate, and went through the intensive application process and was accepted. Formation for the Diaconate required a commitment of four years of study at the seminary in Wickliffe. It was obvious that the Lord had other plans for Judy and I in our retirement.
My ministry in the parish has many facets. One of my philosophies in life is that we tend to identify with others our own age, and therefore, I am enjoying working with the older adults. My accessibility during the day provides me opportunities to visit the sick, minister to caregivers, to celebrate the sacraments of Marriage, and Baptism, and the Funeral Rite of the Church. I am visible to the schoolchildren as well as the PSR Program, and assist the Director of Religious Education.
After eight years of active ministry I felt the need to request retirement status from the bishop, and it was granted effective July 1, 2010. As a retired deacon I maintain all the faculties of the Sacrament of Holy Orders and am permitted to minister anywhere in the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland.
I thank those of you who questioned if I am old enough to retire. Let me assure you that I am, and then some. Unforeseen health issues forced me to consider retirement at this time, and through the grace of God those issues are being successfully addressed.
I am humbled by the gifts the Lord has entrusted to me, and I continually strive to be faithful in sharing these gifts with all.
May the Lord shower you with his blessings always,
Deacon Bob Martin