Ordination of Michael A. Martínez, S.J.

Teresa Martínez | Director of Communications
Belen Jesuit Preparatory School alumnus Michael Anthony Martínez S.J. was ordained to the priesthood on June 1, 2024, at the Our Lady of Belen Chapel in Miami. Over 700 people were in attendance at the Mass held at the campus of his alma mater.

The main celebrant and homilist was the Archbishop of Miami, the Most Reverend Thomas Wenski, concelebrated by Fr. Martin Lenk, S.J., Provincial of the Caribbean Province, and other Jesuits and priests from the Archdiocese. 

Fr. Martínez, 33, was born and raised in Miami and graduated from Belen in 2009. He graduated from Fordham University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Philosophy. Soon after, he entered the Society of Jesus and began his formation as a Jesuit in the novitiate in Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. In 2015, he professed First Vows. Next, he continued his Jesuit formation by completing his First Studies while attending Loyola University Chicago and graduated with two Masters in Communications and Social Philosophy in 2018. After graduating, he began his Regency at Belen Jesuit, where he taught theology and worked in the current Office of Mission and Formation for two years.

“I first heard of Belen from my Jesuit grand-uncle Fr. Gerardo Freire (ordained in “Colegio de Belén” Havana in 1954), who told my mother, “I needed to attend Belen.” My own journey in Jesuit education began in the sixth grade and continued through college at Fordham University in the Bronx,” said Fr. Martínez. “I also studied abroad at the Jesuit University of San Salvador, El Salvador, in 2012, where I felt confirmed in my desire to join the Jesuits in Latin America. At the age of 22, and after many years of challenging and fruitful discernment, I entered the Society of Jesus. My Jesuit education profoundly shaped the way I saw and experienced the world and my mission in it.”
During the solemn Mass, the Archbishop ordained Martínez through the laying of hands and the prayer of ordination. All priest concelebrants also offered their prayers, symbolically passing down their priestly ministry. Fr. Guillermo “Willie” García-Tuñón, S.J., a former teacher and spiritual counselor, played a significant role in the ceremony. He guided Fr. Martínez as he vested for the first time as a priest, removing the stole of the diaconate and replacing it with the stole and chasuble of Christ’s priesthood. The stole, a symbol of being sent out to Evangelize, hangs over his neck, worn beneath the larger vestment or chasuble, a symbol of the love of the Church, which embraces and covers his entire life.
“The rite of Holy Orders is a beautiful ceremony in our Church,” said Fr. Willie. “There are many who believe, for good reason, that this beautiful chapel at the entrance of our campus is the clearest evidence of the Catholic identity of Belen Jesuit. Others believe, again with good reason, that the clearest evidence is the orthodoxy of our theology curriculum and the way it permeates every subject taught by every teacher on campus. Still, others will claim it's the retreats or Marian Sodality or devotion to Our Lady of Belen or the robust activity of Campus Ministry. If you ask me, at a time when vocations to the priesthood and religious life are so hard to come by, it is the ordination of one of our alumni that presents the greatest body of evidence. I’m very proud of Fr. Mike and look forward to witnessing his priestly ministry.”
Having served as a Deacon ministering to the people of Cuba, Fr. Martínez now takes on a new role. He returns to Havana as a priest, ready to continue his service to the people of God anywhere and everywhere he is sent. 

Click here to watch the Mass. Click here to see the photo album. Click here to read Archbishop Wenski’s homily.
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Belen Jesuit Preparatory School was founded in 1854 in Havana, Cuba by Queen Isabel II of Spain.  The task of educating students was assigned to the priests and brothers of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits), whose teaching tradition is synonymous with academic excellence and spiritual discipline.  In 1961, the new political regime of Cuba confiscated the School property and expelled the Jesuit faculty.  The School was re-established in Miami the same year, and over the next decade, continued to grow.  Today, Belen Jesuit sits on a 30-acre site in western Dade County, only minutes away from downtown Miami.