For Martin Irvine, the reason for doing what he does is pretty simple — it’s important to keep God’s house looking nice. He believes it’s our duty as a parish to keep everything the best it can be to truly serve our Lord.
“I know this is what God wants, for everything to look nice,” he says.
Martin has been serving the parish as the Superintendent of Building and Grounds for nearly two years. Having retired from an armored car company and moved back to Grand Island from Utah, Martin and his wife, Wendy — who is also retired — both got a bit antsy at home. Martin took on his current role, and Wendy has a part-time position at Menards. Martin
grew up here in Grand Island, having attended St. Mary’s Parish.
“Everyone is great around here,” Martin says. “This is the best job I’ve ever had. I’m very happy working here.”
Fr. Don is thankful to have Martin on staff because, as he says, Martin has the brain of an engineer and has been a great asset. He’s also humble, efficient, and reliable.
“When a guest is coming to your house, you want to make sure it’s tidy,” Fr. Don says. “Martin makes sure we have a good, clean, safe, and comfortable environment.”
The family atmosphere among the staff at St. Leo’s has been such a blessing to Martin.
Typically, Martin is at the parish on weekday mornings until noon. He sticks around in the afternoon if he’s needed for other tasks. His duties include cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, and replacing light bulbs, to name a few. He also takes care of grounds maintenance and maintains a small garden.
“I love doing outside work,” he says. “I also love that this job is a little different each day.”
Martin and Wendy have two children and five grandchildren who live in Utah. The couple lived there for 21 years, and they enjoy traveling back there when they have the opportunity, as they especially miss their grandchildren.
Martin serves as an Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion at St. Leo’s and delivers the Eucharist to those who are homebound. He finds both of these ministries to be very rewarding, especially bringing our Lord to those who can’t leave home.
“It’s like the people have become my grandparents because, of course, my grandparents have all passed,” he says. “They are like replacement grandparents.”
In their free time, Wendy and Martin enjoy being outside, going for walks, and enjoying a picnic. When the couple lived in Utah, Martin loved skydiving.
Martin feels very blessed to have this role at the parish, as he enjoys it so much.
“I just live life as it comes at me,” he says. “I roll with the punches and figure it out as I go.”