St. Martin's is Celebrating 100 Years
Sponsor a Piece of
St. Martin’s History!
As you know, in honor of our church’s 100th anniversary, the story of the life of our patron saint, St. Martin of Tours, is now depicted through a series of stained glass windows.
To help support the many celebrations that we pray will be happening later this year, we invite you to participate in a unique fundraiser that allows you and your group to sponsor a piece of history.
You may have noticed the huge wall puzzle hanging in the narthex of the church. Until they are all sold out, pieces will be available in the name of our service groups and parishioners for $100 each. After the year-long celebration, the name of your group will remain on a plaque that honors all benefactors of our centennial year.
For information on how your group can participate by purchasing your puzzle piece, please contact Lisa Schuler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you in advance for your support and being a part of St. Martin’s next 100 years.
100th Anniversary Spirit Wear
Click the icon to purchase Centennial Spirit Wear for our
Haga clic en el ícono para comprar "Spirit Wear" para nuestro Centenario
Our Parish History
Celebrating 100 Years of St. Martin’s – Did You Know…
How this church was built?
The first mass on this property, establishing the church of St. Martin’s, was held on Dec 12, 1920. However, our current church building did
not exist until 1957. This church was built because an expanding, post-WWII population had long outgrown the first, cobbled together church from 1920. In fact, the parish had been worshipping in the auditorium of the school since September of 1942.
In the early 1950s, the pastor, Fr. Paul Meyer, began a fundraising campaign to build a new church. In addition to soliciting funds from
parishioners, the church held a variety of fund-raisers in the community, including turkey dinners.
Ground for the new church was broken in December 1956. At the ceremony, Mrs. Theresa Selby turned over the first shovel of earth. As a
young woman back in 1914, Mrs. Selby had been one of the group of church ladies who helped to buy this property.
The church was built by a Bethesda construction company, Thomas W. Yoder. The total cost for the project was $257,000. It was completed in less than a year, while the busy life of the parish went on around it. The church is built of brick, with limestone trim, and seated 500 people.
The altar and its relics were dedicated on Nov 11, 1957. The church itself was dedicated by Archbishop Patrick O’Boyle on the following
Sunday, Nov. 17, 1957. Ten years later, Fr. Meyer proudly noted in his 1967 financial report to the parish, that the debt we incurred to build the church was entirely paid off.
Since 1957, the church interior has undergone several renovations. After Vatican II, a second altar was added, facing the people, the
communion rails were removed, and a raised floor for the altar extended into the nave of the church. The choir stood behind the altar.
In the mid- 1990s, the altar was moved back up into the sanctuary and these was a simple curved dais before the steps. In 2018, the
curve was replaced and rails were installed in front of the statuary niches – so for our Centennial celebrations the church will closely match its original look from 1957 when it was built by Fr. Meyer to “give God His own house” in our community.
The Altar Relics
Our current church was built in 1957, and dedicated on Nov. 11, 1957 by Auxiliary Bishop Philip Hannan (later Archbishop of New Orleans).
Bishop Hannan also consecrated several relics in our high altar (where the Tabernacle currently sits). According to the dedicatory inscription
issued that day in Latin, our altar contains “the relics of the holy Martyrs Eudoxius and Honestus; with those of St. Francis Xavier, Confessor and St. Teresa of the Child Jesus, Virgin, also included”. To those who visit the church on the anniversary of its consecration, an indulgence of 200 days is granted.
Little is known about St. Eudoxius, a Roman soldier in present-day
Armenia who was martyred in the late third or early fourth
century. St. Honestus, a native of France, was sent to Navarre,
Spain by St. Saturninus, a disciple of St. Peter, where he converted
great numbers of people. He was martyred in Spain in 270.
St. Francis Xavier was born near Navarre, Spain in 1506. He was
one of the first seven members of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits),
led by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Known as a great missionary saint,
he played a key role establishing Christianity in India and Japan.
St. Thérèse of the Child Jesus, also known as St. Thérèse of
Lisieux or the Little Flower, was a Carmelite nun whose “Little
Way” focused on small deeds and sacrifices to show great love
and trust in God. She described this spirituality in her
autobiography “Story of a Soul.” Pope John Paul II named her a
doctor of the church in 1997.