MANILA – Father Norman Martin, a member of the Congregation of the Blessed Sacrament, died on Nov. 4 in Manila.
A former resident of Hartford, he had been a missionary to the Philippines since 1975. He was buried in the provincial compound of his religious community in Quezon City, Philippines.
He was born in Maine but grew up in Hartford.
He was a radioman in the U.S. Air Force in 1945, when he first visited Manila. After the war, he enrolled at the University of Connecticut, and then transferred to The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., where he added philosophy and theology classes to his course in anticipation of seminary studies. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in biology in 1952.
He returned home to Hartford and lived with his parents for the next 18 years. After serving as a sacristan in his church for eight years, he was accepted to study for the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Hartford.
Some years later, he entered the Blessed Sacrament Fathers in Barre, Mass., and was ordained to the priesthood on May 25, 1974, at age 50.
Father Norman ministered for a year in New York and then at Santa Cruz Church in Manila. While at that parish, he also worked with electronic and print media, and for more than 20 years he worked with the bishops to produce and distribute the Catholic Daily Bible Reading Guide, a joint project of the Catholic bishops of the Philippines and the Philippine Bible Society.
The latter organization gave Father Norman a plaque of appreciation in December 2008 for his “having pioneered in helping make the Catholic Daily Bible Reading Guide a reality by painstakingly, devotedly and faithfully putting together the Bible reading reference for each calendar year...” It continues to be printed yearly.