Longtime UE Manila Chaplain Set to Retire, Fly Home


Rev. Fr. Bernard O. Martin, MSSC, the Chaplain of UE Manila, is retiring from his aforesaid UE role and from his ministry, the Missionary Society of St. Columban (MSSC). His last day in UE Manila will be on August 7, 2018, Tuesday, on which he will celebrate the noontime Holy Mass on campus for the last time.

The regular celebrant of UE Manila’s daily midday Masses, Father Martin or “Erps” (short for “erpat,” a Filipino slang for father) as he is lovingly called by the UE community, is leaving the country for health reasons, and aims to seek medical care in his native Northern Ireland.

Born and raised in Ballymena, Northern Ireland, Fr. Martin has been an MSSC priest since 1956. He was assigned to the Philippines in 1957, serving as chaplain to various institutions, including the University of Manila and Far Eastern University.

He was initially assigned to be the UE Manila Chaplain from 1963 to 1974.

In 1979, he took on an assignment in Chile, residing there while shuttling back and forth to the Philippines. He returned to the Philippines, and to UE, in 2004. However, Fr. Martin had visited the Philippines in 2002, upon the invitation of a group of UE alumni, and resumed his work as UE Manila Chaplain thereafter.

Given his now 25 years in all with the University of the East, Fr. Martin has been a regular fixture in UE’s liturgical celebrations, including the Foundation Anniversary Thanksgiving and Christmas Masses, and UE Manila’s Baccalaureate Masses. He has also been the Adviser of the UE Manila Student Catholic Action-Christian Communities Program. Fr. Martin also led UE’s delegation of over 150 student-participants to the World Youth Day gathering at the Ateneo de Manila University on August 20 to 21, 2011.

The 87-year-old Father Martin will be returning to Ireland on August 8, 2018, where he will be living in their congregation’s mission house. He will also take time to visit his four siblings living in England, and familiarize himself anew with his native land.

For all the years he has served in UE, Fr. Martin says he feels thankful. He says that working in UE makes him happy. He never had a problem in his encounters and interactions with members of the UE community, be it students, faculty members, employees or administrators.

He hopes that even when he is no longer physically in UE Manila, the UE family would continue taking care of one another. He reminds us warriors to be always friendly, and treat each other as unique and special. He reminds everyone to make UE a happy place.

Thank you for years of service to the UE community, Warrior Priest Fr. Bernard Martin, and Godspeed po!

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