1890 – 1954 (August 1)
Sylvester Joseph Martin, son of Harry Martin and Katherine Owings, was born in McSherrytown, Pennsylvania on February 13, 1890. He entered Saint Rita’s Hall, Villanova in 1910 and was accepted into the novitiate in June, 1914. He made his simple profession of vows on July 2, 1915 and solemn profession on July 3, 1918. Whiile a student at Villanova he taught biology in summer school at the College as well as while studying theology there himself. He was ordained to the priesthood by Denis Cardinal Dougherty in the Cathedral at Philadelphia on June 10, 1922.
After ordination, Father Martin was assigned to teach at Saint Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois. In 1926, he was transferred to Villanova Prep in Ojai, California, and, in 1932, to Saint Mary’s Parish, Waterford, and later to Saint Paul’s Parish, Mechanicville, New York. Father Martin was appointed an assistant at Saint Rita Parish, Philadelphia in 1939, and remained there until his death on August 1, 1954 at the age of 64. He had been ailing with heart problems for some days when he succumbed.
Father Martin’s Funeral Mass was held at Saint Rita’s Church on Thursday, August 5th, with Father Joseph Dougherty, O.S.A., Prior Provincial, as celebrant and Father Paul Judson, O.S.A. as homilist. Archbishop John O’Hara of Philadelphia and Auxiliary Bishop Joseph McShea were both in attendance.
Father Martin is buried at Villanova in the Community Cemetery.