Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Visiting priest from Mexico serves 22,000 Catholics

Published March 20, 2015

ALPHARETTA—Father Benigno Martinez, a priest of the Archdiocese of Tulancingo, State of Hidalgo, Mexico, came to St. Thomas Aquinas in January to baptize the infant son of his brother who lives in the parish. He also celebrated the Sunday Spanish Mass at St. Thomas Aquinas.

Father Martinez, ordained five years ago, is the pastor and only priest for two parishes, San Pablito in Pauhuatlan, Puebla, and San Pedro in Xalotla, Puebla. The two parishes have a combined population of about 22,000 and there are 10 mission churches between them. This means there are 12 different church buildings where he celebrates Mass.

St. Thomas Aquinas pastor, Msgr. Dan Stack, noted that by comparison St. Thomas Aquinas has two priests assigned to the parish and a retired priest in residence. There are some 4,200 families registered. Between 4,000 and 5,000 people attend Mass each week.

The Archdiocese of Tulancingo has 162 priests and 99 parishes. But each parish has multiple chapels or missions. This means there are far fewer priests per capita in that archdiocese than in the Archdiocese of Atlanta.

Msgr. Stack encouraged those in the Atlanta Archdiocese to remember Father Martinez and his parishioners in their prayers.