Fr. Martinez Embodied Ignatius' Call to “Go Forth and Set the World on Fire!”
Catholic schools and their students lost an extraordinary witness to the transformational power of Catholic education with the passing of Fr. TJ Martinez, S.J., into eternal life. With his tireless devotion to service, electric personality, and endless joy, Fr. Martinez exemplified the entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to the poor that lies at the heart of the Cristo Rey mission.
"Our most heartfelt prayers and condolences go out to the Martinez family and the Cristo Rey community," says Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., founder of the Alliance for Catholic Education. "TJ embodied Saint Ignatius' exhortation to 'Go forth and set the world on fire' and he will be deeply missed."
In his ministry as the Founding President of Cristo Rey Jesuit, Fr. Martinez catalyzed the creation of a remarkable educational and life-changing opportunity for the youth of Houston, TX. Since the school's founding in 2008, Fr. Martinez and his team have grown Cristo Rey Jesuit's student population from 80 to nearly 500 students. They have partnered with more than 150 blue-ribbon corporations to support the renowned Cristo Rey Corporate Work Study program, and they have transformed a hurricane-ravished physical facility into a stunning and award-winning campus. Most importantly, in 2013 every member of the school's first graduating class was accepted to college.
Fr. Martinez's legacy will live on through his students and colleagues, and his service to Catholic education will inspire many for decades to come.