Fishing People Out of the Dark: Father Joe Martin

Under the Rose

Epiphany 3A
January 26, 2014

Isaiah 9:1-4

Psalm 27

Matthew 4:12-23

On the shores of the Chesapeake Bay, in Havre de Grace, Maryland, there unfolds a 147-acre estate that has held the last hope for thousands of alcoholics, addicts, and their families for over two decades.  Since 1984, the estate has housed a private drug and alcohol treatment facility called “Father Martin’s Ashley”, known to some as the “Betty Ford Clinic of the East,” helping over 40,000 addicts and alcoholics begin their recovery (Story on Father Martin, New York Times).  The treatment center was founded by a jocular, perpetually cheerful priest named Father Joe Martin, who was always known for having a smile and a joke for everyone he met.  Father Martin’s life work was his passion for healing the chemically addicted and for treating them with love and humanity.  Why did Father Martin care so passionately…

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