8/23/2023 - WASHINGTON, D.C. The Pontifical John Paul II Insitute for Studies on Marriage and Family at the Catholic University of America recently featured Peter Martin as their featured alumnus in an alumni email newsletter. The email included Peter's story ...
The email linked to the page on the Institute's website that features Peter Martin's story. (To read the story on the website: Peter Martin - Pontifical John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage & Family )
Here is the article:
Director of the Office of Life, Marriage & Family and Communications, Diocese of Winona-Rochester
After discerning that I was not called to the priesthood, I decided to complete my final semester at our University’s Study Abroad Program in Rome, Italy. It was there that I met my wife (who was on the same program) and after we returned home, we began to seek God’s will for our future after marriage. We both felt called to serve the Church, and a wise Archbishop suggested that we attend the John Paul II Institute in order to equip us to serve the Church as a married couple.
Having already spent time in Rome, we decided to return there and begin our theological studies together. Those studies were interrupted when Theresa began having complications with the pregnancy of our firstborn and we needed to return home (after returning home the complications subsided and Gregory ended up being delivered two weeks late!).
After a yearlong hiatus, I was able to continue my studies and complete my License in Sacred Theology at the JPII Institute in Washington, DC. A priest that I met when studying there reached out to me after I had completed my studies asking me to apply as the Marriage and Family Life Director for his home diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota. I have been in this position for the past twelve years.
Studying at the Institute gave me the theological training that I need to direct and develop programing in the Diocese, which is exactly why I studied there. What I did not know that I would need was the network of trusted friends and colleagues that I have gained. As a Diocesan Director, I am called upon to offer pastoral care for all aspects of marriage and family life. Some of these areas I have no personal experience with and I want to be sure I can trust the programing that is available. Having this great network of friends and colleagues who have also studied at the Institute allows me to find ways to care for the needs of the people in the Diocese in a way that respects the dignity of the person and their vocation to love (as opposed to programing that may minimize the seriousness of the problem and ultimately fail to offer a deeper call of conversion to the Truth). This network of alumni has been indispensable because I know that I can trust that the programing they offer (whether their own or someone else’s) has the needs of the whole person in mind (the particular anthropology that we all learned at the John Paul II Institute).
Besides my diocesan work, my wife and I have recently published The Rule: St. John Paul II’s Rule for a Joy-filled Marriage of Divine Love which contains the Rule he wrote right after St. Paul VI’s 1968 Encyclical, Humanae Vitae. This text was rediscovered during the cause for Pope John Paul II’s canonization, but only now translated and published into English. In order to assist couples in living out this Rule, we have created the Wojtyla Community and Institute (wojtylaci.com) that provides resources and support in creating and maintaining Married Couple Groups. We pray that the good news of the Rule spreads and that couples will strengthen their marriages and their families by creating married couple groups of their own and by faithfully following the Rule that JPII wrote.
Being an alumnus of the John Paul II Institute has played a major role in the work we have done both with the discovered texts and the with the Community we have founded. We expect that many of the friends and colleagues from the Institute will become supporters and followers of the Rule!