My name is Vito Martinez, and I am a friar with the Order of Capuchin Franciscans. I belong to the St. Joseph (Mid-west) Province, which has ministries as far east as Detroit and as far west as Montana. Most of our ministries focus on work with the poor and marginalized.

Before deciding to become a Capuchin friar, I lived as a car salesman, poker dealer, bouncer, and many other careers. My life gives me a unique perspective on religious life, as well as a special way to interact with the poor and marginalized.

My conversion story has drawn plenty of attention:

Grand Rapids Press, January 3, 2009

Interview with Dick Gordon on NPR, Number 1

Interview with Dick Gordon on NPR, Number 2

By sharing the highs and lows of my life, I try to show people a new way of looking at the world and one's self.


Francis Thompson, an English poet and addict, spent time with the Capuchins in northern Wales as he struggled to get clean. Had this to say about the Franciscans:
It is this lofty and unsought genuiness which makes the true poet take to the Franciscan and the true Franciscan to the poet. Two things in this world are poetry - and luckily do not know it - the child and the Franciscan.
My faith journey to become a friar, priest, and follower of Francis hasn't been easy, straight-forward, or even clear at times. What many people might not understand is that I am still myself in addition to my vows. I worry. I work hard. I have dreams. And sometimes I make mistakes. We are called with our gifts as well as our brokenness. And while that doesn't mean we shouldn't strive to be better, it means that we should strive to be who we really are.

This blog is who I really am. Peace and blessings,


(He said): “And human love needs human meriting:
How hast thou merited—
Of all man’s clotted clay the dingiest clot?
Alack, thou knowest not
How little worthy of any love thou art!
Whom wilt thou find to love ignoble thee,
Save Me, save only Me?

All which I took for I took from thee I did but take,
Not for thy harms,
But just that thou might'st seek it in My arms
All of which thy child's mistake
Fancies as lost, I have stored for thee at home:
Rise, clasp my hand, and come!

-The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson

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