Br. Martin Spellman, a fulltime volunteer at Saint Patrick High School for the past five years, has been nominated to receive the Distinguished Lasallian Educator Award. He is one of two nominees to be presented with this year’s award which honors an educator who exemplifies the ideals of St. John Baptist de La Salle, Patron of Christian Teachers of Youth. The award is sponsored by the Lasallian region of North America and is presented at the annual Huether Lasallian Conference in Washington, D.C. each November.
The theme of this year’s conference is Faith in Action: Global Engagement through Lasallian Education. Br. Martin, throughout his 62 years as a Christian Brother, has spent 43 of them teaching and serving at Lasallian institutions abroad. He spent 30 years in Central and Latin American including Chile, Columbia, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Honduras. Later in his career, he served 8 years in Kenya, Africa and was also called to Rome where he was needed as a coordinator for the English speakers of the Lasallian renewal sessions. He continues in this translating capacity today.
“What could be more fitting than to regionally and nationally recognize and honor Br. Martin’s 43 years of dedicated global educational service,” states Br. Konrad Diebold, President of Saint Patrick High School. “Br. Martin is an extraordinary and exemplary Christian Brother, and all of us at Saint Patrick congratulate and rejoice with him on his having been selected for this special and well-deserved recognition.”
At 80 years old, Brother Martin is not ready to retire. He currently serves as the Director of the Brothers’ community at Resurrection Retirement center on Chicago’s northwest side. Each day, he reports to Saint Patrick High School where he tutors students in Spanish and French and makes himself available for substitute teaching. In addition to his commitment to St. Pat’s, Br. Martin is active with Prison Ministry. Once a month, he travels by train from Chicago to Woodstock, IL where he ministers up to 250 undocumented immigrants who are held awaiting a judge’s decision regarding their future.
Congratulations to Brother Martin Spellman on a long and distinguished career that continues to serve many youth in the Lasallian community – and beyond.