The Word Among Us

Saints & Heroes Resources

Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant

Honoring Father Francis Martin

By: Jeff Smith

Well Done, Good and Faithful Servant: Honoring Father Francis Martin by Jeff Smith

To Our Brothers and Sisters:

It is with both great sadness and great joy that I learned that Fr. Francis Martin passed away Thursday night. Fr. Francis, a renowned and respected Scripture scholar, played an instrumental role in The Word Among Us in our early years. Not only did he come up with the name for the magazine, but he also wrote many of the early issues, guided the writing of many more issues, and helped train our lay meditation writers.

Fr. Francis spent many years serving as mentor to Joe Difato, the founder of our magazine. He guided Joe in his theological training and was extraordinarily generous in offering Joe advice, insights, and gentle, creative critiques of his writing. Together with Joe and Tom DiIenno, who left an influential job at IBM to help get this magazine off the ground, Fr. Francis was one of the principal voices in The Word Among Us for more than a decade.

Right up to the end of his life, Fr. Francis gave his life to serve the Lord and his Church. Many priests and bishops have looked back on Scriptural retreats and conferences given by Fr. Francis, and commented that it was the best teaching on God’s word they had ever heard.

Mentor, theologian, advisor, writer. These words capture Fr. Francis’ tangible contributions to The Word Among Us. But none of these contributions compares to his role as a faithful disciple of the Lord. He proclaimed the word of God to everyone he knew, whether they were little or great in the eyes of the world. He sought to live God’s word and to serve God’s people faithfully. In a very real sense, all of you, our readers, have been blessed by Fr. Francis’ faithfulness to the Lord.

So thank you, Fr. Francis, for your work, your prayer, your witness, and your friendship. May you hear the words of Jesus: “Well done, good and faithful servant. Come and share in your Master’s happiness.” We thank you for pouring yourself out for us here at The Word Among Us, and for the Church as a whole. May the light of Christ shine on you, and may the angels lead you to Paradise.

Jeff Smith
The Word Among Us