St. Martin de Porres Parish is a Catholic Faith community in the Ignatian tradition carrying out the mission of Christ to realize the Kingdom of God.
By being truly committed to living our mission daily, we begin to be symbolic of these Core Values:
- Be deeply rooted in Christ – We let all that we do flow out of the love and mercy of Christ.
- Be lovingly compassionate – We make room in our hearts for the suffering of others. We act prophetically to end that suffering.
- Be warmly welcoming – we share the love and mercy of Christ with all we encounter.
- Be boldly creative - We use the resources we have to meet our challenges without fear of failure.
- Be passionately engaged – We wholeheartedly embrace the call to BE Church.
Our goal then, is to create a place of encounter, drawing parishioners more deeply into the mystery of Christ’s love through prayer and service in the Roman Catholic tradition.
The story of St. Martin de Porres Parish began in 1966, when Fr. Frank Stobie, SJ, decided to open a school in an area of Belize City experiencing rapid population growth. At that time, the area where the parish is now located was a swamp known as Prisoners’ Creek, named for the practice of using the labor of prisoners to clear the mangrove swamp to make room for the city’s westward expansion. The families of the existing Loyola School took on the construction of the new school themselves, using garbage to stabilize the marshy ground. They completed the first building in 1968, using it for both school and church.
St. Martin de Porres Parish was officially founded as an independent parish and school in 1969. The name St. Martin de Porres was chosen because he is the patron saint of social justice, and the parishioners wanted the care for the marginalized to be a guiding principle of their new parish. Father Thomas Thro, SJ, was the first pastor and Br. Karl Swift, SJ, assisted with pastoral care. A new church building was constructed in 1994-1995, and the church became parish offices.