Forming a community of faith
In early 1987, parishioners of three churches, Saint Benedict, Holy Cross, and Saint Charles Borromeo, convened to explore ways to strengthen their communities. There was a need to revitalize their ministries, address challenges with maintenance of their facilities, and overcome the struggle of limited financial and human resources. These initial meetings formed a relationship among the parishes, and paved the way for the eventual foundation of a new community.
In 1989, after much prayer and dialogue, an assessment of the facilities of all three parishes was done, and it was determined that Holy Cross would be the best site to meet the needs of this newly-emerging community. A recommendation was made to Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly, OP, to merge the three parishes into a single community at the Holy Cross campus. He did so, and gave the community permission to choose a patron. They chose Saint Martin de Porres, the Peruvian Dominican Friar.
The parish was officially founded on September 27, 1990. The moth before, Archbishop Kelly named Rev. William Medley, now the Bishop of the Diocese of Owensboro, as the first pastor, assisted by Deacons Frederick Higgins and James R. Turner. In September 1993, Fr. Medley was asked to serve another community, and Deacon Turner was named the Pastoral Administrator. The sacramental needs of the parish were met by a number of priests who served as Sacramental Moderator.
The old Holy Cross Church, now Saint Martin de Porres Church, underwent significant renovations made possible through the community’s stewardship. Archbishop Kelly dedicated the newly-renovated church in 1995 in the presence of over 600 people.
In 2018, Rev. Charles Walker was appointed as pastor of Saint Martin de Porres, along with the other four parishes in Louisville’s West End: Saint Augustine, Christ the King, Immaculate Heart of Mary, and Good Shepherd. He was assisted by Rev. Deogratias Ssamba, AJ, serving as Associate Pastor. Deacon Turner retired as Pastoral Administrator was asked to assist as a regional deacon for Louisville’s West End.
In 2019, Rev. J. Randall Hubbard was appointed as pastor, and Rev. Anthony L. Cecil, Jr. as associate pastor. Fr. Hubbard and Fr. Cecil also serve at Epiphany Catholic Church in Anchorage. Deacon Turner was asked to remain serving at Saint Martin de Porres, and was relieved of responsibilities at the other parishes.