Martínez joins chancery staff

Daisey Martínez

JACKSON – Daisey Martínez joined the chancery staff as the Associate for Youth and Young Adult Ministry for the new Office of Intercultural Ministry on Monday, Sept. 30. She is a member of St. Jude Pearl, but also serves as a catechist at St. Martin Hazlehurst and as a co-leader for the young adults group at St. Richard Jackson. Martínez is a graduate of the University of Mississippi and has worked as an admissions counselor for the university.

Over the summer two events helped lead Martínez to apply for the position at the diocese. She had a beautiful, intimate experience with the Eucharist at the Southeast Pastoral Institute’s (SEPI) Young Latino Summer Leadership Institute at the end of July and then the occurrence of the ICE raids in Mississippi on Aug. 7.

As the child of immigrants, her madre from El Salvador and her padre from Mexico, Martinez’s “heart ached” after the raids.

“Members of the Body of Christ were hurting. I realized that God needed me here in Mississippi,” said Martínez, who had been considering moving out of state. “Then one Sunday after Mass, Angéle Bartholomew approached me and told me that the diocese was creating a new Office of Intercultural Ministry. She … believed I could make a difference in our community if I accepted the role.”

While the Office of Intercultural Ministry is new to the diocese, it is a connection to the past. In 1978, Sister Thea Bowman, FSPA was appointed by Bishop Joseph Brunini to direct the Office of Intercultural Affairs for the diocese. In this position Sister Thea was integral in renouncing racial prejudice and promoting cultural awareness and sensitivity. In that role, she balanced the challenge of encouraging Catholics to embrace our common faith while celebrating our diverse cultural heritages.

With Sister Thea’s example in mind the Department of Faith Formation saw a growing need to re-envision the offices of separate ministries to serve the needs of long standing and emerging cultural communities in the diocese. The Office of Intercultural Ministry is tasked with the primary goal of cultivating empowerment of Black Catholic, Hispanic, Vietnamese, Native American and other culture communities throughout the diocese.

The office will be staffed by two full-time employees, a coordinator for the office and an associate for youth and young adults.

Director of Faith Formation, Fran Lavelle is thrilled to have Martínez on board in the associate role.

“Daisey brings so many gifts to this ministry. She is a servant leader and is a natural at making people feel at ease and part of the group,” said Lavelle.
“She is deeply committed to her faith and deeply committed to serving God’s people. I am so excited to see how God uses her gifts serving the young people of our diocese.”

Martínez credits her mother for the deep faith she has today. “She introduced me to God, His love and so much more,” said Martínez.
The Department of Faith Formation hopes to have an announcement soon on the position of Coordinator for the Office of Intercultural Ministry.