His Grace, Bishop John (Martin)
Bishop John R. Martin (Circa 1966)
On January 5, 1931, His Grace, John R. Martin was born to John Martin and Veronica Mihach Martin. A native of Pittsburgh, PA, he
received his elementary education in Munhall, Pennsylvania, after which he entered Saint Fidelis
Seminary and College in Herman,
Pennsylvania. He completed the six years' course of
studies, graduating from junior college with highest honors. He pursued his philosophical and theological
studies at Saints Cyril and Methodius Byzantine Catholic Seminary in Pittsburgh and was awarded a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Duquesne University where he was a Dean's List
student. Father John Martin was ordained
in the Byzantine Catholic Metropolia of Pittsburgh to the Holy Priesthood on
May 29, 1955. Following parish
assignments, he pursued graduate studies in philosophy at Stanford
University in California.
In 1966, Father Martin was received into the Orthodox
Church. He was elected to the episcopacy
by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on August 15, 1966, and
appointed Titular Bishop of Nyssa and Auxiliary to His Eminence, Metropolitan
Orestes by His All-Holiness, Athenagoras I, Ecumenical Patriarch of
Constantinople. Bishop John was
consecrated to the episcopacy on October 6, 1966 in Christ the Saviour Cathedral
in Johnstown, Pennsylvania with His Eminence, Archbishop
Iakovos as principal consecrator.
Bishop John was an energetic worker and dynamic
personality. During his episcopacy, he
distinguished himself as an administrator, educator and speaker.
Bishop John (Circa 1980)
As an administrator, he assisted Metropolitan Orestes in
the government of the Diocese which spanned an area from the Midwest
to the East Coast with 60 parishes in 10 states at that time. It is estimated that in the first five years
of his episcopacy, he traveled 125,000 miles throughout the Diocese making
pastoral visits to the parishes. He
served as Rector of Christ the Saviour Seminary where he restructured both the
curriculum and operational apparatus of the seminary.
As an educator, he served as seminary professor of
philosophy and psychology, fields of academic endeavor in which he specialized
while pursuing graduate studies at Stanford
University. He lectured at colleges and universities, and
taught philosophy at the University
As a speaker, he won wide acclaim both by his style and
for his message of relating with relevance the teachings of the Orthodox Church
to the problems of the times. He did
extensive work in conducting spiritual retreats and missions for priests and lay
After serving as diocesan hierarch for 18 years, Bishop
Martin died unexpectedly on September 30, 1984, and was laid to rest near the
Cathedral on October 4.
Highlights of Bishop John' s Episcopacy
He activated the Diocesan Liturgical Commission
and Music Commission.
He pursued the development of a camp and
conference center which was eventually built on a 289 acre parcel of donated
land in Mercer, Pennsylvania.
He named the facility Camp
Nazareth, and dedicated
it in 1977.
In 1983, at his behest, three laymen of the
Diocese were named the first Archons of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, an honor
which has expanded at present to 32 men honored with this distinction.