May 27, 2022

Meet our future deacons

James “Nick” Martin

James “Nick” MartinName: James “Nick” Martin
Age: 69
Wife: Debra Martin
Home Parish: St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis
Occupation: Retired from the U.S. Air Force

Who are the important role models in your life of faith?

Father Bedemoore Uduchukwu, an Air Force chaplain, and Franciscan Father Francis Dondu, who served in Turkey, for the manner in which they lived their vocations and the support and encouragement they gave me as I began my discernment for the diaconate. Also, my wife Debbie for the example of her faith and her commitment to God since we first met.

What are your favorite Scripture verses, saints, prayers and devotions?

My favorite Scripture passages include Psalms 27, 32, 51, 62, 63 and 139; Deuteronomy 14:7-8, 11; Luke 6:30; and Romans 12:13. My favorite saints include St. Francis of Assisi, St. Charles de Foucauld and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. They lived their faith and reached out to all people, including the poor. My favorite prayers and devotions include the Jesus Prayer, the “Come Holy Spirit” prayer, the Franciscan Chaplet and the Liturgy of the Hours.

Deacons often minister, formally or informally, to others in the workplace. How have you experienced that already and what do you anticipate doing in the future?

I am retired from both civilian and military work, but I hope to minister to my brothers and sisters at my parish, and I would like to work in prison ministry, too, if possible. I have also enjoyed and hope to continue visiting and bringing Communion to people who are unable to attend Mass.

Why do you feel that God is calling you to become a deacon?

In my youth, I felt that God was calling me to serve him in some manner, which I took to mean “in the Church.” I took many roads that, at the time, I thought were the right ones, but in the end weren’t the ultimate one. Finally, at the encouragement of friends, I began to consider the diaconate. There were so many “if this happens” or “if this hadn’t happened” on my journey of faith and my discernment for the diaconate that, without them, I wouldn’t be approaching ordination now. So, each prayer and every step of the way, I have felt that the Lord was guiding me to this end.

How will being ordained a deacon have an impact on your life and family?

I believe serving as a deacon will enrich my personal life and the life of my family by giving us prayer opportunities, by allowing us to witness and preach about the love of Christ through our lives and by bringing us personal growth in faith and love as a family. I hope to bring these same gifts to those to whom I will minister.

How do you hope to serve through your life and ministry as a deacon?

There are two phrases attributed to St. Francis, and these are how I want to live my life and ministry. One is “God, enlighten the darkness of my heart and give me a right faith, a sure hope, a perfect charity, sense and knowledge, so that I may carry out your holy command.” The other is, “Go and preach the Gospel. If necessary, use words.”†

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