Jesuit Brother A. Joseph Martin died Dec. 4, 2017, in Grand Coteau, Louisiana, after a long illness. He was 88 years old and a Jesuit for 63 years.
Br. Martin was born June 25, 1929, in Maringouin, Louisiana, to Alcide Joseph Martin and Delia Blanchard Martin, who preceded him in death. His two sisters, Meredith Templet and Norma Cardinal, also died before him.
He was raised and educated in Plaquemine, Louisiana, graduating from Plaquemine High School in 1945. He earned a bachelor of arts from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge before joining the U.S. Army Signal Corps. He served in Korea during the Korean Conflict.
He entered the Society of Jesus at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau on Sept. 15, 1953, and pronounced First Vows on March 19, 1956. He pronounced his final vows on August 15, 1964, also at St. Charles College.
As a religious brother in the 1950s, Br. Martin’s training was diverse and hands-on, with instruction coming from more experienced brothers. He gained experience as a secretary, bookbinder, infirmarian, host maker, sacristan, kitchen manager, buyer, dairyman, farmer and tailor. During his Jesuit ministry, he served in most of the large communities of the former New Orleans Provinces, most often as minister, responsible for caring for the material needs of the community and the physical facilities. He was also assistant director of the Jesuit Seminary and Mission Bureau in New Orleans (1981-89).
Br. Martin’s intelligence, generosity and skill enabled him to fill many roles. He was at his best in making a Jesuit community a true home for the men living there, comfortable and welcoming. He was especially attentive in his care for the sick and elderly, and he played a crucial role in setting up the former Ignatius Residence in New Orleans for senior Jesuits; those men now reside at the St. Alphonsus Rodriguez Pavilion in Grand Coteau.