Please share your memories of Fr. TJ Martinez below.
I see that I’ve mistaken your President’s name. It’s Paul Posoli. I apologize. Mary
For quite a few years I have followed with joy the Cristo Rey mission across the US. Last Spring I saw the news of your President’s stage 4 cancer and your praying to Fr. Miguel Pro for his healing. I joined in that prayer.
So it happened that I clicked on Google the Monday after Thanksgiving to see the letter from Paul Polosi announcing the death of Fr TJ Martinez. For the weeks following I read everything there was on your website regarding your remarkable Founding President. Although I never met the man, I grieved along with you at his passing. And then I was struck with the power of his spirit and as I saw the photo of him standing in front of a group of your students with the music playing something with the word Lionheart repeated in it, I thought how good a title that would be for a space there at Cristo Rey Houston called “Lionheart Hall”. I believe the number of students who came to your recent Open House is surely because TJ somewhere is laughing and cheering you on. He did everything well.. and that, to me, is holiness.
I just found out today that Father T.J. passed away over Thanksgiving. Even though I knew Father had been very sick, the news hit me hard. My wife Tina and I met Father T.J. just a few years ago at one of the annual conferences of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem. From the moment that Tina and I first spoke with Father and were blasted by his ebullient and larger than life personality, we knew that this was a true firebrand in every sense of the word–a very special man and dynamic priest. The fact that he was the founder of an equally dynamic Jesuit high school in Houston made all the sense in the world as one of his most profound accomplishments. Thank you God for allowing us to know Father T.J. even for the very brief time we did. And thank you God even more for all of the young lives that he touched at Cristo Rey Jesuit H.S. Father T. J. will live forever through all of his adoring students and through the wonderful things that they will accomplish as devout Catholics all because of Father T.J. May he rest in peace. God bless Father T.J., his family, friends, and students.
I am Willbroad Salvatory from St Peter Claver High School Dodoma, Tanzania. I knew Fr .Martinez in a program that he pioneered in our school “CAMP MAGIS” .In this program him together with Fr Derrick SJ and our teachers taught us Jesuit values like Gratitude ,Service, Education and Leadership skills. In our school he taught us on the value of time and the power that lied within the youth . He was so inspiring and encouraging especially spiritually, I remember what he preached on the time “TIME IS NOW”. In St Peter Claver, He is still in the hearts of every Student that he lectured in Camp MAgis . Despite the fact he stayed for a short time in our school, he did a lot especially. Personally, I learnt a lot from him. Gods work has no blame. All In all thank you God for giving such a great person.
It has been more than week since you left this world. I still can’t take in the fact that you’re gone. But I know you’re doing well up there with God. A trillion thanks for everything you’ve done for us, especially for motivating our class to always keep moving forward. I’m truly blessed that you’ve stepped not only into my life, but to so many others and made an impact on us. I deeply miss you, and will love you always. You’re story will live on forever.
Viva Cristo Rey Jesuit!
Viva Fr. TJ Martinez!
Fr. Martinez will be missed but his spirit will live in all of us forever.
Thank you Father Martinez, I didn’t get the chance to formally meet you, but you will always have a place in me.
I saw Father T.J at camp when he went to pick up his niece Alyssa and we took a picture with him. I did not know him well but I know his family very his niece is my best friend and I will miss knowing that he is here but “You would not want to let someone you love suffer.”
I knew from the moment I first saw him that he would be something else. I couldn’t quite pin this feeling down, but it was there, ever intriguing as I saw this man pacing up and down the gym with his hair parted by the prophet Moses. He took a hot gymnasium full of awkward teenagers reluctant to be there, and gave one of many fiery speeches that I would have the privilege to hear. Little did I know that this small man would become such a large part of who I am today. As many people have said, he was, and still is, larger than life. It will be a very sad time for me and the Cristo Rey family, especially in the coming weeks as the holidays come rolling around, but at the same time I am very happy to know that he’s rejoicing in the Kingdom of Heaven, raising millions upon millions of blessings for all of us. He knows we need ’em!!! I thank the Lord for giving me the chance to have this angel in such a pivotal moment in my life. Now it’s time to go and set the world on fire.
¡Viva el Padre Martínez! ¡Viva el Padre con Botas!
It’s very heartbreaking to acknowledge that Cristo Rey Jesuit’s founding president, Father T.J. Martinez has recently passed away. I could ramble on about what an amazing, spiritual man he was but for all I’m going to say is: He was the light that shine thought his darkness. He remained highly positive during his battle against cancer and was fearless. He showered us with lots of love and embraced us. He brought lots of joy to us and taught us more about having faith. No matter how much pain he endured, he always had this beaming smile on his face. I love you, Father T.J. and I’m glad that you’re not enduring the pain you never deserved to have, anymore. Rest in peace and I’ll see you again when it’s my time. I know you’ll be watching over us with that same beaming smile while all your Cristo Rey Jesuit family members continue to grow and achieve in life.
In remembrance of Father T.J. Martinez, I’d like to share some memories with him that I cherish.
When I was in 8th grade at the Cristo Rey Jesuit Open House, my mom introduced me to him and told him that there were no other Catholic schools that would accept me because of my deafness. He just looked at me with a beaming smile and proudly said that he was happy to have me there, embracing me in the comfort of his arms.
In September, before the Mass of the Holy Spirit when we were heading to the gym for mass, I froze and gasped in shock when I saw him. He was throwing his arms around someone into a hug and I was just really surprised to see him there. I was also genuinely happy to see him with that same beaming smile on his face.
After mass, I went up to him, greet him and gave him a tight hug with a happy smile on my face. When all my sisters and I got Dominic, we shoved him to Father Martinez then he welcomed Dominic as the last Mackin to be here.We all happily talked to him momentarily and he made some kind of joke about my siblings and I taking over the school since there are 5 of us Mackin’s there.
I”ll never forget him and I truly feel like the luckiest girl to have encounter him. Now, I feel extremely grateful for having these memories of him and with the fact that I attend the school he opened himself.
Seeing him at the wake just broke my heart and I can’t believe he’s gone but I know that I’ll always cherish him in my heart.
Viva Cristo Rey! Viva Father Martinez!
As a Boston College alumni, I read about Fr. Martinez in one of our alumni publications. Although I was not fortunate enough to have met him, it is clear from reading his story, that he changed the world and many lives in his much too brief life on earth. I will pray for his soul, as well as his family and friends. He is surely resting peacefully with our Lord, and will always be smiling down upon us. I offer my sincere condolences to all of you.
I am very sad for a wonderful person that was fr.Martinez has gone from this world and I did not have the opportunity to meet him in person, this means that I will leave this world without to meet two wonderful persons: Mother Theresa and fr. T.J. Martinez.
Padre Martinez para nuestra FAM: como para mi hijo Angel fue un gran honor averlo conosido por que personas como usted con ese carisma,sencilles y amor por el projimo hay muy pocas en este mundo y fue maravilloso averlo conocido la noticia de su muerte Nos inpacto y uvo in momento en que le pregunte a Dios “por que” pero el con su gran misericordia me contesto en seguida “por que mi hijo ya cumplio con la mición que le encomende”. Es muy triste saver que ya no lo vamos a ver pero como le dije a mi hijo Angel usted no se fue usted esta en cada parte de Cristo Rey Jesuit,en casa alumno y vivira por siempre en cada uno de nuestros corazones se que esta en un lugar privilegiado sonriendo como lo asia aqui en la tierra y no le digo adios sino asta luego por que usted fue a prepararnos el Camino para cuando Nos llegue la hora de presentarnos ante el Señor.Descanse en Paz padre. We miss you.
I was shocked to hear of ANOTHER young strong man being diagnosed with stage IV stomach cancer as my 50 yr old husband was diagnosed 26 days before his 50th birthday…had a total gastric removal with 2 rounds of chemo in Tulsa OK!! The Lord took him home December 11,2013 just 6 months after diagnosis.
MY QUESTION IS: DID FATHER MARTINEZ THINK HE HAD AN ULCER AS MY HUSBAND DID..FOR AT LEAST ONE YEAR HE WAS SELF MEDICATING AN ULCER WITH NO RELIEF…JUST WONDERED IF FATHER THOUGHT HE “HAD” SOMETHING ELSE!??
If you have time I would love to hear from his personal …..if not I’ll always wonder……
Thank you in advance
God bless you ,Father and his family
I remember meeting Fr. Martinez for lunch the first day he arrived in Houston. He was asking me about fundraising. He said he knew no one and he had never raised money before. Ha! I knew in the first five minutes of meeting him that neither of those obstacles were going to hold him back. Fr. Martinez was not one of those people who was a rising star. He was a rare shooting star. He shot into Houston with a light so bright that all we could do was run towards the light. He showed us possibility and he turned that possibility into reality. He believed in the abilities of each and every person he met. He made you feel like you and you alone were his best friend. There was never a casual encounter with Fr. TI, something always happened that turned it into a story to remember. I feel privileged to have known this shoot star and I believe with the energy he possessed, you may look up one night and see him shooting by for another pass. Go with God, my friend, you did your work well, we will do our best to make you proud.
Father TJ had an incredible sense of possibility. He brought light, love, and joy to everything he did. I feel blessed to have had an opportunity to work with him and to call him a friend. He will be missed but its a comfort to know that his spirit with live on in each and every person he befriended.
Cuando yo lo vi por primera vez pregunte quien es el? es Padre Matinez,me impresiono enormemente
porque siempre las personas con un puesto muy grande tienen esa cara dura y de gran seriedad para infundir respeto y usted siempre tenia esa enorme sonrisa ese gran don de gente ese amor hacia los demas. Y por esto la gente te queria y sobre todo te respetaba.Yo te hice una pregunta y tu me dijiste MUJER!!!!!
Dios es bueno….
Si Padre Martinez ahora se que Dios es bueno mil bendiciones para ti y gracias por estar en mi vida aunque solo allan sido tres veces fueron suficientes para saber el gran ser humano que tu eras.
What can one say about an individual who had such a profound impact upon our family? From convincing Joseph that Boston College was the only school for him to mentoring Thomas as a medical student in Houston and throughout his courtship with Jenna, to being part of all of our family celebrations and sorrows, you walked with us. We have so many memories of you in and out of our home with the boys and in and out of the Jesuit House in Cambridge with your Jesuit brothers and the BC parents and crew. What amazing cookouts we had because of your spontaneous nature and your love of sharing a meal with all! While our hearts are heavy with your physical loss, our souls rejoice in your joy as your rest in the arms of our good and gracious Lord.
We thanks the Martinez family for sharing T.J with all of us and extend our deepest sympathies for your loss. Tom, Catherine, Thomas and Joseph Turnage
I remember the day he helped me get approval of wearing my boots for graduation. It was not easy but I wore them! He loved his boots, so that’s why he approved of me wearing my boots for graduation! 🙂
Fr. T.J Martinez was a person with a faith that is out of this world he was a very humble man and was devoted to lead CRJ into becoming the great new “Houston”. Once I found out he had cancer at Kairos during a petition I couldn’t help but shed a tear because how can something so terrifying happen to such a great person with so much love for everyone. Then when we got his emailed him and I told him “Cancer may have been a blessing to you because although I know you can fight this illness if you don’t get the chance to face it, you will win to live a way BETTER life in heaven and maybe that was your calling, to be at Gods’s right hand”.. and he agreed “I promise to keep fighting the illness, while at the same time, happy it ultimately take me to God. It is a win-win situation my friend and you have pointed that out to me” then I realized how much faith Fr. TJ Martinez has. As much love if have for my faith I know that I would question my faith if I were to ever get sick, but that what WILL make Father TJ Martinez a legacy. He showed not only myself but others to never question your faith and always leave your life to God for he will lead us to his right hand. I will forever miss your presence Father TJ Martinez and thank you for believing in Cristo Rey Jesuit.
What a joy and privilege it was to walk alongside Fr. TJ as partners in mission at Cristo Rey! His indomitable spirit and contagious joy inspired so many in Houston and across the Cristo Rey Network to achieve the impossible for the Greater Glory of God. He will be dearly missed but his legacy will continue on.
“Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household world that it always was,
Let it be spoken without effect, without the trace of shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It it the same as it ever was, there is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near,
Just around the corner.
All is well. ”
― Henry Scott Holland
We are so sorry for the loss of T J MARTINEZ. Our prayers for the family! Love Alicia & Michel
Knowing all of the great achievements Father TJ accomplished on earth, I can only imagine the greater things he will accomplish for the glory of God in Heaven.
Viva Cristo Rey! Viva Cristo Rey Jesuit! Viva Blesse Miguel Pro! Viva Father TJ Martinez, SJ!
Thank you, Fr. Martinez, for the Mom’s retreat years ago, big and Hugs, and your powerful words of wisdom! Your spirit lives on with so many.
Rest in Peace.
A Hero with a Buckle and Cowboy Boots
A leader with a true faith In God who has never given up
A leader who stores all his devotions to God and to society in his heart, mind and soul
A leader of a school who shows his appreciation to God by encouraging and setting an example overall and helping reach his student goals.
A leader with a brave and giant heart who transmits his student with a smile
Dream! Dream! with faith that God is waiting at the finish line
A Leader who know when to act on any situation without a doubt and Just moves on with his faith up on high and very strong. And
Knowing that he is guided by the trinity the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit this has been his motive and his drive.
I knew TJ as a colleague and friend as part of my Class XXIX in American Leadership
Forum. I will always remember his faith, his laughter, his authentic friendship and as a fellow “Valley Rat” , understanding the small town-ness of Brownsville and Harlingen respectively. His vision and creativity and amazing outlook on life and purpose are contagious and the children who he influenced will manifest his legacy for many generations.
God sends us the gifts we need when we need them and Farger TJ was just such a gift to the school and the city. Vays con dios mi Hermano!
I knew this amazing person for almost three years. He was a gift from God for this dark world. May he forever be in our hearts because his dream came true, and that dream lives in every single person that ever saw and spoke to this amazing man. I remember that he would always give me the biggest smile and the warmest hug, no matter what. He was a hugger and we all loved it. Rest in Peace Fr.Martinez may you be forever in God glory and one day we will all be able to feel your warm embrace again. With all my love
Fr. T.J. was one of the most dynamic, energetic and caring people I have ever met. My life is fuller for having worked with him and known him. Heaven is blessed with a very special angel. My prayers to the Martinez family and the entire Cristo Rey Community. Viva Cristo Rey and Fr. T.J.
I was so sorry to hear of Fr. TJ Martinez. he was a wonderful friend and mentor to so many people. He will be greatly missed. We will carry your torch proudly and faithfully. You live on as will your spirit. Your love and compassion will always be here with us.
Sadly missed along life’s way,
With silent thought and deep regret,
We think of you every day,
No longer in our life to share,
But in our hearts he’s always there.
Gone are the days we used to share,
But in our hearts you are always there,
The gates of memory will never close,
We miss you more than anyone knows,
With tender love and deep regret,
We who love you will never forget.
God knows how much I miss you,
Never shall your memory fade,
Loving thoughts shall ever wander,
To the spot where you are laid.
Though absent you are ever near,
Still missed and loved, always dear.
It’s hard to believe
You are no longer here,
We think of you,
You feel so near,
In some small way, every single day,
Memories of you come our way.
Years fly by like autumn leaves,
But heartache and tears remain,
All I have left is precious memories
Of (both of) you, for today, for tomorrow,
And until my life is through.
A page in the book of memory,
Silently turns today.
We remember you in silence,
And make no outward show.
And what it meant to lose you,
No one will ever know.
This day is remembered and quietly kept,
No words are needed, we shall never forget,
For those we love don’t go away,
They walk beside us every day.
Unseen and unheard, but always near,
So loved, so missed, and so very dear.
Sad was the parting, no one can tell,
So sudden on earth the sorrow fell;
The blow was hard, the shock severe,
To part with one I loved so dear.
Dearer still as years depart
Her memory lives within my heart.
Gone is the face we loved so dear
Silent is the face we loved to hear.
Too far away for sight or speech,
But not too far for thought to reach,
Sweet to remember him once here,
Who, though absent, is just as dear.
In all the world we shall not find
A heart so wonderfully kind,
So soft a voice, so sweet a smile,
A sympathy so sure, so deep
A love so beautiful to keep.
Viva Cristo Rey, Viva T J Martinez
We love and Miss you! Thank you for everything you did for the kids of Cristo Rey!
You have made a great Impact on the community and your Spirit will live on.
I first met Father TJ in Dallas at a dinner in 2002 honoring Cardinal Avery Dulles S.J. given by the local Catholic lawyers’ guild. I had to good fortune to sit at his table, where I shared having living in the Rio Grande Valley for a while and found out we had several mutual friends from there. His enthusiasm and charisma overflowed. How wonderful to keep up over the years, especially when he was back in Dallas to visit. I will cherish the last email I received, in Swahili, when he returned this year from Africa. You inspire me to a deeper trust, faith and love of Christ.
You have been a great sign for us in the world of today. You are always smiling with a happy heart and soul. You always talk with others and sometimes can’t even stop because of the wonderful things you see in them and everyone you meet. I wish that you rest in eternal peace with your inspiration to start this great school and your dream to change the city of Houston. All of the other Cristo Rey Jesuit High School’s around the US are doing the same thing in their cities. This school will grow in faith, hope, love, and knowledge to come in the future. I want you to know that what you have started will go on, for houston’s future is at work and I hope you’re seeing it everyday.
— Joshua Ramirez, Class of 2018
This young priest was full of energy. We were blessed to have had him in our community, he will be truly missed. My condolences to his family. May you rest in peace Father Martinez
Viva Cristo Rey!
Fr. TJ was truly a man for others! I thank God for allowing our paths to cross. To the Martinez family and his Cristo Rey Jesuit family, my prayers and thoughts are with you. ….this too shall end well! Rest in God’s divine love, Fr. TJ.
With a heavy heart, I leave this message. Father TJ will be dearly missed more than any of us can imagine. I don’t have the words to express my sadness for not being able to share another laugh or hug with this special, unique man of God, but I join the angels in heaven who are rejoicing to welcome him home. Rest in peace, Father TJ. Until we meet again!
Love you Father Martinez
I remember walking into the rundown gym on the first day of school and asking myself what I had gotten myself into. I was nervous about being apart of the first class to ever attend Cristo Rey Jesuit, but my fear quickly melted away as Father Martinez delivered one of his inspiring speeches (the first of many that I was lucky enough to hear). It took me awhile to get used to his very energetic personality, but soon enough, I couldn’t help but smile whenever I saw him walking down the hallway.I collected many fond memories of Fr.Martinez over my four years at CRJ, ones that I will hold with me for the rest of my life. I feel extremely blessed to have been apart of the Cristo Rey Jesuit Inaugural class as well as for having known Fr.Martinez. It is rare in this day in age to find a person with so much love and care for others. I am also happy to have gotten to see him just before he was diagnosed. We hugged each other and I promised to always come back and visit the school despite being in college. As an Out-of-State student, I will not be able to attend the funeral mass for Fr.Martinez. And while this breaks my heart, I know he would understand. My thoughts and prayers are with all of my Cristo Rey brothers and sisters as well as all of the wonderful teachers and staff at this hard time. While grieving is inevitable, we should find comfort in knowing that Father Martinez is probably smiling down on us from heaven right now, with the wings that we all know he deserved.
I Love you Father Martinez, Rest in Peace.
Father TJ Martinez will be remembered in our hearts, souls, and actions. We will not let the legacy of such great hope and spirit be extinguished. Ever.
Thank you Father TJ we love you,The LeBlanc’s
Thank you for everything you have taught and showed us. Your work has inspired and changed people’s lives.
God now has a brilliant Angel and we have a light to shine on us.
Thank you Father Martinez for everything you did for the school. You not only had an impact on me but me and everyone you came across with. Thank you for being the priest to my Quinceañera mass. Thank you for all you heart warming smiles and advice. Whenever we were down. You helped us right up. Although it is sad to see you go, it is relieving that you are not suffering anymore. I know you’re in good hands with the lord and as happy as can be in heaven. I will never forget you. ♡
Your cup was not half full – It was overflowing!!! You lit up every room, adored every single being, touched and electrified us with your infectious energy. You dreamt HUGE, made the impossible possible and built on dreams to make us soar!!!
You redefine what a priest was. You invited the kids up to the altar for their First Holy Communion. ‘Let the children come to me’; Matthew 19:14. You hung out with us as friends, teased us as family and loved us all immensely.
“I’ve heard it said, that people come into our lives,
For a reason, bringing something we must learn
And we are lead to those who help us most to grow, if we let them
And we help them in return.
Well, I don’t know if I believe that’s true
But I know I’m who I am today because I knew you.
It may be that one day, we will meet again
Not in this lifetime, so, let me say now when we part,
So much of me, is made of what I learned from you
You’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart
And now whatever way my story ends
I know you’ve rewritten mine by being my friend.
…And because I knew you, I have been changed… FOR GOOD.”
—Adapted from, ‘For Good, Wicked’—
Rest in peace, remember us as you go through the gates of Heaven and watch over us, my dear friend. Thank you for the most wonderful memories to last a lifetime!!!
Dear Father, when I think how your heart must have ached at the thought of leaving your kids I am both humbled and brought to tears. Your spirit carried the weight of concern and the joy of Gods love for you. Ultimately human bodies cannot contain forever the spirit that needs to soar. I await with great curiosity to see the wonders that you will accomplish. Together with St Theresa of Lieseux you will do more in heaven than anyone could imagine. All of us here must honor Father T J s work by not forgetting his children. To those who knew he loved them more than anyone else you were right. When you are blessed to know Jesus you can love unconditionally. With respect and a boost of energy let all teachers enter the classroom with Father T J right beside us. In wonder, Judy Hebert
Prayers and Thoughts from Australia.
Our Prayers go out to the Martinez family and all the staff and student body past and present.
Our children Xochytl and Cuauhtemoc both attended Cristo Rey Jesuit in Houston and many times we had the opportunity to speak with Father TJ. He always greeted us with a smile and energy that I know only comes from the Love of Jesus Christ. In a time when God had come to our lives and we wanted to transmit this same faith to our children not only at home but, also in school and outside our home. The doors to Cristo Rey Jesuit were opened to our family to give not only our children but, our whole family the opportunity to live our Catholic faith openly. In a time when society in the US is saying that school and religion can not be together Father TJ’s vision also became our vision, Although we can not be present in Houston for the services our hearts and prayers will go out to all.
God may you allow Father TJ Martinez to enter into eternal life and VIVA CRISTO REY.
I attended Cristo Rey Jesuit my first semester of freshman year (2010) and to this day I regret leaving. While I never had a conversation with Father TJ Martinez I would always see how passionate he was about what he was doing and how highly he thought of everyone no matter what your background had been. Every time I saw him he was always smiling and looked like the happiest person ever. Although I did not graduate from Cristo Rey I am grateful for the few months I did go here. The school he made is wonderful and the amount of people he has helped get on the right track is amazing. People always say that “You will never be forgotten” but I truly believe that you will not. Thank you!
What a sorrow.//The catholic and non catholic community of Houston has just lost one of the best charismatic, enterprising and educator priest One of the best in his class. As a father and grand father of children educated by the Jesuits I best appreciate the efforts,guidance and education given to them in
order to form men and women able to serve and to give the most to our society.
Fr. Martinez is one of the best examples of that kind of educators of our sons and daughters
R.I.P. Fr.Martinez. we will miss you dearly .We were blessed to have you in our church and in our
Christo Rey College Preparatory School.
Your many friends such as me from our law school days in Austin will miss you, as will so many others who’ve lives you’ve touched so fundamentally. My deepest sympathies to Trey and the entire Martinez family as well as your larger Cristo Rey family.
No pude conocerte Padre TJ Martinez, pero por medio de mi cuñado “Padre Hadi Sasmita” pude saber de ti y tu enfermedad. Hoy durante estube en misa pude sentir tu precencia de healing durante las peticiones. Dejastes la tierra porque tu mision sera mas poderosa desde haya donde te encuentras. Confio en tu curacion, tan pronto comenzastes a trabajar. Dios te bendiga.
Well done, good and faithful servant!
Thank you Padre
Perhaps Father TJ’s flame burned so brightly during the short time he was here so that we might continue to feel its warmth long after he has left us. It is my prayer that his work will continue in all those impacted by his infectious charm – including so many young people whose lives he touched.
On November 28th, Heaven became even brighter…Fr.TJ,SJ ..a LOVING GIFT to everyone of us…prayers for the Martinez family and for all as we walk this journey of profound loss…AMDG… Dios te bendiga y la paz….
I met Father TJ only once, at wedding he celebrated for my daughter’s best friend at the Sacred Heart cathedral at Notre Dame. He was dynamic, motivating and so full of God’s grace. My father was the late Ralph Keifer, the first PhD from Notre Dame in Catholic Liturgy. He taught seminarians and laymen in the celebration of the Mass. Fr. TJ’s celebration reminded me of my father’a approach. Add that to the fact we were in the church I grew up in, I was blown away by this dynamic man. He truely walked in the light of God and the Holy Mother.
His passing is a away for all of us to remember how he lived his life and try to pay it forward to keep his legacy alive. For those of you who knew him so much better than I, may God bless you and keep you. May his face shine upon you and grant you peace. Amen.
Thank you from a mother:
You took them all into your heart and in doing so changed their lives forever. Of all the memories that they will carry with them, from their high school years, you will be the most positive. You were in all of its mysticism what it means to be called teacher. Mentor might be a better term. And so they carry you within themselves to all places that they will go. They carry from you what is bright within their eyes to share that light with the children of God. We, their parents, are in debt for them to you. Thank you, But in truth, we need not, for that light within their eyes was for you its own reward.
May the Angels lead you to paradise. ¡Viva Cristo Rey!
” I shall pass through this world but once, any good, therefore, that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.” – Henry Drummond, The Supreme Gift
Fr. T.J. for certain this quote was written for you…you did so much good and set such a beautiful example for all of us…thank you !!
Kathleen and Tom Bevans
our thoughts and prayers are with the Martinez family. What a beautiful smile that has just entered the kingdom of heaven.
Father TJ Martinez,
Thank you for being a beautiful example of Jesus Christ. I will keep your parish and students in my prayers. God bless you and rest in peace.
As all your “soldiers for Christ”, we will continue as you have lead us.
We miss you and always will.
Descansa en paz, pequeño gigante, y que tu ejemplo nos inspire siempre a servir a los demás.
Father Martinez was such a motivational man. I will never forget the day he gave to the “Mothers Retreat”
for us Strake Jesuit Mothers (and our Mother/Son luncheon). We did not want the day to end.
He will be missed by everyone who knew him and those who will not have the opportunity to know him.
From your ALF brothers and sisters we wish you peace. You made us laugh and you inspired us do do more than we thought possible. I wish I understood why you had to leave us so soon. All I can think is that this world just couldn’t hold your boundless energy.
What a profound loss for not only the Catholic church and Cristo Rey, but for the world and humanity as a whole. May God bless you. RIP
Believe in Angels. They express themselves in many ways, a dream, a whisper, coincidence an overpowering feeling. Author Unknown
Rest in peace Father TJ. Thanks for reminding me and others to help others in their pursuit for higher education. Your dedication to help others was contagious in all the charities you supported. What you have done for the many youth in Houston will be forever your legacy.
I prayed that Father TJ would be one of those who could kick cancer to the curb, but it was not to be. In his short life, he has accomplished, served, built, imagined, created and given more than a 100 others could have done in a lifetime. I have never met Father TJ, nor live in Houston, only reading about him since last spring via the Facebook postings by his fiend, fellow Jesuit Father Martin. It is heart wrenching to hear this news. I know his community and family are going to miss him terribly. He was here for a short time, but his life will have far reaching effects. Father TJ is with God now, his reward coming sooner than many of the rest of us. A truly brave fighter, from what Father Martin wrote in his tribute, and ready to meet head on, with his next assignment. What a wonderful, vibrant human being–hard to put into words, but anyone who knew him, or followed him, will know what I mean. May he rest in peace. Amen.
I am very glad to meet you at MD Anderson on my brother behalf, Father Hadi. You have inspired me with your fighting spirit. We will miss you Father TJ Martinez.
I remember first walking the halls as a freshman, which feels like a long time ago, and seeing Father Martinez look at all of us with a bright huge smile and loving opened arms. You could be having the worst possible day and just seeing him in the hallway with that welcoming smile would just turn your mood around. You didn’t have to know him on a personal level to feel like you can accomplish anything. Always having him speak at the little school functions we had never felt like a waste of a time. He always had something positive to say and I guess that’s what made me fall in love with Cristo Rey more. He was a blessing to have around and a really amazing person. When I found out of his passing, I couldn’t cry. He wouldn’t want that. He would want us to celebrate all that he has accomplished and will continue to accomplish. Instead of crying for the loss of our dear Fr. T.J. we should be happy to have met him and feel blessed to have had this amazing opportunity to achieve anything so young. You may have left us physically, but you have not left our hearts. We love you Father Martinez. Viva Cristo Rey!
Thank you Father Martinez for being a wonderful example of Our Lord and Savior’s love. In meeting you, it was apparent that you were touched by the Holy Spirit and truly loved life. Thank you for your service and dedication to the students at Cristo Rey Jesuit of Houston. May you rest in PEACE and may PERPETUAL LIGHT SHINE UPON YOU.
I am saddened to hear of your passing but rejoice in knowing you’re in heaven with our Heavenly Father, Our Blessed Mother and all the angels and Saints. Fr. TJ, pray for us.
I did not meet u on earth but I will meet u in heaven. When I seen ur picture I felt a connection of calm, sincerity, genuine love, and peace. I know u were and are a wonderful light shining bright for us. May u rejoice on the streets of Gold up in heaven and praise our Heavenly Father Jesus Christ. Amen.
A Special Jesuit
By John O’Shea
Fr TJ Martinez, everyone’s best friend
A man, scholar, priest with energy that never ends
He gave his life to serve others
And considered all of his sisters and brothers
Born and raised in the Valley town of Brownsville
Amongst mesquite and dirt, nary a hill
He was proud of his Mexican roots
As well as his belt buckles and boots
Educated among the elite at the College in Boston
Then law school in the town of Austin
Wanting to give his life to God to help the unfortunate
Rejected by the Oblates, he became a Jesuit
Degrees from BC, Loyola and Harvard soon piled up
Serving at Dallas Jesuit was more his teacup
It gave him a love for the young that would drive his behavior
Being among teenagers was an act of love, not labor.
He showed up in Houston just before he turned forty
Loaded up with belts, boots, hair gel, Oh Lordy!
He befriended the Cardinal earning the nickname, “The Energizer Bunny”
He named the Archbishop and him – Batman and Robin, how funny!
So in 2009 he opened Cristo Rey Jesuit with students numbering 83
They soon learned that they would have to work, this school wasn’t free
A Catholic education was included in their studies
Each student considered Fr Martinez was one of their Buddies.
Over these past six years he has set Houston on fire
Educating those of limited means became his life’s desire
His school continued to flourish growing to close to 500
He considered all of the faculty and staff has spirits kindred
Off to Africa brought from him all smiles, nary a frown
Coming back full of Swahili, his weight though was down
His diet of soup and shakes brought from him only sighs
As he couldn’t hold down his favorite burgers and fries
Soon he found out that his stomach was full of cancer
He accepted this verdict like a winning dancer
He would continue to spread his joy to all
Stage 4 cancer would not cause his spirits to fall
He’s now with His Father infecting Heaven with his joy
Looking down on his students, each girl and boy
TJ, we all hope to see you one day in your palace
I know you’ll have something extra for us – your Magis!
Dear Fr. T.J. Requiescat in Pace… You fought the great fight, now enter into the kingdom of your Father.
I remember the first day I met Father Martinez. I thought he was the most funniest person I ever met. I know u did not graduate from the school but I was apart of the first class. I just want to say that he will be remembered as a good person. Yes I never would of thought that it will be him, but God has a plan and he knows what he is doing. So be strong for the class of 2013 and for many years to come up. I love him with all of me and he was my favorite person at the school. He was my best friend and so much more. I love you and you are in a better place.
I had the pleasure of meeting him in a Choice School meeting. He was very joyful and great with the kids. May God have him in his glory.
It is inconceivable that the bright shining light that was Fr. TJ is no longer with us. I have never met anyone like him and I know I never will again. It is impossible to understand God’s plan for having him leave us all so early. May he rest in peace and let perpetual light shine upon him.
I miss my brother-from-another-mother, Father TJ Martinez. We were comrades-in-arms as well, armed with a strong belief in the amazing potential of our city’s children to build a better tomorrow for themselves and us all. While we mourn the loss of this great man from our lives, we should take heart and have faith in knowing his spirit lives on……not just with God, but also inside all of us who are better students, educators, and human beings because of the impact Father TJ had on our lives. Viva Father TJ!
You truly touched so many people, whether with your compassion for others or for that special hug someone might have needed. You will always be with us. I will miss you and our friendship. Rest in peace my friend.
You were the light in the darkness but you are now shinning in heaven like the beautiful stars. May God have you in eternal rest. Your legacy will continue on at CRJ. My condolences for your family.
Father TJ is probably the most inspirational character I have ever had the good fortune to meet. A genuinely humble man who changed the world for many kids and the people who knew him and whose presence will be known long into the future due to the lasting and beautiful legacy he created. May The Lord give him rest and may the rest of us celebrate the life of a genuine servant of our Lord. With Love, Admiration and Prayer.
Father TJ Matinez lit up the world. His bright light was a guide for our young people. Thank you for your inspiration and determination that helped so many youth reach their dreams. The school that you loved so much will miss you and so will all of us in this community. I am so glad I got to know you. – Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee
I am always going to remember Mass of the Holy Spirit 2014,where I was able to have a small conversation with Fr. Martinez. He was telling me how happy he was being able to see how us seniors have gotten so far. Fr. Martinez’s smile was the best, he was able to brighten anyone’s day. It’s sad knowing you are no longer with us, we are always going to keep you in our hearts! All my prayers to Family Martinez.
Viva Cristo Rey!
i met Father Martinez when I was the Varsity Baseball coach for Baytown Christian Academy in 2012, we spoke at length many times after we played his school and he always inspired me to follow Gods will in all that I do! I came to respect and admire Father Martinez for his faith and passion for his school! He called me in 2013 to come help his baseball program abd regretfully had to decline because I was already working for another school, he rejoiced and told what a blessing I would be to those young men, and that was God’s will that I be there that season! Father Martinez will be missed for the great man of God that he was and I pray his spirit for life, love of God and Education will be passed to his students past and present! Vio Con Dios Father!!
Coach Gary Young
I will always remember the first time I met Father Martinez with his Texas belt buckle and cowboy boots…I knew he was special. As time passed, it was proven that his vision for Cristo Rey Jesuit, his endless energy, complete dedication, compassion, his ability to see good in all and help them recognize the good they could do will forever change the education process for young men and women in Houston.
Father’s smile was like a light in the room because his genuine warmth and laughter, friendship, and concern for everyone was conveyed to all who had the opportunity to share a few moments with him. The Cristo Rey Jesuit College Preparatory School changed lives, our City, neighborhoods, business corporations and their leaders, countless individuals and most of all, the children who had the experience at Cristo Rey. His legacy is the school now and always….may he rest in peace.
Father Martinez understood what the Cristo Rey model was intended to be, a reflection of the unconditional justice and story of hope found within the Gospel. He helped that story come alive by unifying students, parents, donors, faculty and a business community in one highly energized fell swoop. Personally, he provided a space for me to teach, alongside curious minds and life-long friends. I was among many hoping for a miracle, and in seeing the way this man chose to live his life, I certainly witnessed one.
Dammmmm i just found out about this..and it hurts so much to know that hes not here with us nomore..but hes always gonna be in our hearts and the only thing he left us was memories..i remember i always used to see him in the hallways and he would hug me and everything and me and my brothers would always take him hair gel..we’re all going to miss him so much well now hes in a better place looking out for all of us..RIP Father Martinez
The last time I saw Fr. TJ was when he was at St. Joseph Academy. I was kept informed of him, his education & work through his father, Tony. Fr. TJ lived such a great and fulfilling life. His dedication & selfless nature is something, I’m sure, that all of us hope we can attain someday. All who knew him or knew of him regarded him with great love, respect & admiration. Our ~A~ngel here on Earth has left us to continue his job with our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ. Our ~A~ngel in Heaven will be watching & caring for us from above. May his soul & the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace…..Amen!
Viva Cristo Rey!…….Viva Fr. Miguel Pro, S.J……..Viva El Padre Con Botas!
Fr. T.J.: Keep kikin’ them boots….Till we meet again!
Love~n~Prayers…..Cecy Moody 0:)
We are each of us ~A~ngels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another……..Luciano De Crescenzo
You truly were inspirational and not here long enough. But I guess the Lord needed you more in heaven.
God bless you.
Sadly I don’t have many memories with Father. TJ, but I do remember walking the halls sometimes and just hating being there. But then I would see Fr. TJ in the hall, he would look at me and give me this huge smile and huge hug making me love this school. It breaks my heart to hear this news, especially since we all thought he would get better and be at our graduation, but I know he will be there in spirit and in our hearts.
Thank you for making this school a reality and helping me achieve my dreams.
You will forever be in my heart, c/o 2015, Carolina.
I am so devastated by this news, but I am so grateful for having known TJ. We were good friends during our Boston College days, and he also was my confirmation sponsor at BC. When I moved to Houston three years ago, he was the first person I reached out to, and I was so grateful that despite his busy schedule, he was one of the first to welcome me to this city. My heart is breaking as I look through old photos and remember my good friend. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and to all of the Cristo Rey students…you are his pride and joy.
I only met Father TJ once at a memorial mass he performed. He captivated me! When I told him I am a retired teacher, he grilled me like the lawyer he was by training, asking me about the “old fashioned” methods of teaching the 3 r’s. I was honored that he, dynamo that he was, was interested in my approach to education. He and I remained in e-mail contact, just saying “Hi” to each other from time to time. My only question is: Why was he taken and not an old woman like me. I’ve served my mission in life and he had so much more to continue to give to young people. I know God is already exhausted by his running around Heaven trying to take care of everyone else besides himself.
The memories are too tender just this minute, but having worked with Father TJ as the school nurse practitioner in our health clinic for the 1st 3.5 years of the school was a highlight of all my volunteer work! There is no other man with such a motivational spirit, uplifting soul, elocution and leadership skills. He’s just ‘the priest’ who went round the world for the Lord and Cristo Rey. His million dollar smile filled everyone’s heart with glee, and just literally hugging him in the halls of Cristo Rey lightened your day! Rest with the Lord my dear TJ and “in a place where there is no more sorrow, tears, pain….” Love you dearly, robin
Father T.J. lit up the universe everyday during his brief presence with us on earth. He now shines down upon us with a heavenly smile so bright we can’t help but smile along with him.
I talked to him very little but when I did I knew from his energy that he was a genuine and caring person who would bend backwards for those he loved. And he would also defend us from any wrong that he saw. He was literally a father to many and not just in the sense of being a priest. His energy and soul will always live within us because he was the true trailblazer and he started the fire within all of us. I’m just glad that I got to share 3-4 years of my life with someone as special as him. Viva Cristo Rey.
Oh, Tay Hota. My heart is broken.
Although I worked closely with you for only a few months in the Boston area, you made a lasting impression on me and my philosophy of education. That is a gift that I continue to pass on to all of the students I meet.
Peace, mi amigo. Your zeal and compassion were only matched by the size of your belt buckle. You will always be full of life in my memories.
We are crushed and devastated to know you are no longer with us. It is actual pain we feel and selfishly, we know we should rejoice. WE MUST CELEBRATE for you came into our world and conquered….with your infinite passion and love. You empowered my child to be confident and to seek opportunities that she didn’t even dream of. You build this school and your legacy will live on through your students, their parents, families and every one that you touched! You touched sooo many people!! We will carry your torch proudly and faithfully. You live on as will your spirit in CRISTO REY JESUIT THANK YOU, Beloved Father TJ Martinez!!!
One of the most dynamic leaders I have ever known. Reached out to me when my mother passed at MD Anderson this summer. A truly compassionate human. He will be missed by thousands. God bless him.
He gave every minute of every day caring about other people – and the Cristo Rey Jesuit kids. He will be missed by everyone across Texas. This is a loss to all of us.
There are few people you meet in life that make the kind of impact like Father TJ. In everything he touched, he was dedicated, passionate and, above all, inspirational. While his passing is a profound loss, his work carries on in every student, parent, colleague, friend and all that were privileged to know him.
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