More About Me!

(I was recently interviewed for the St. Ben's Newsletter. I have one great story about this article to share: I'd just met the man in the picture with me. I was asked to stand together with him in a photo opportunity. Rather than be fake and try to put myself with someone, I simply told him: "Hey, I know I don't know you, but this man is gonna take a picture of us together so they can raise more money. So you're not the only one who feels awkward." We joked and talked...and the picture that was taken was thankfully not staged, but something real - something I've always tried to be.)

New Friar Finds Joy at St. Ben’s Meal
Former Used Car Salesman Seeks to Grow in Faith Filled Service

Growing up, Br. Vito Martinez remembers how his mother worked hard as a community organizer to better the lives of the poor. They themselves didn’t have much but rather than seek his fortune as an adult Br. Vito has spent several years seeking God’s plan.

Today Br. Vito is a postulant, someone who is in the initial discernment process of a call to be a Capuchin. As a part of that discernment he volunteers at St. Ben’s Community Meal.

“I am serving this year as a chaplain and volunteer coordinator. I help people get new ID’s, bus tickets and I refer them when needed to the Capuchin House of Peace and other agencies,” Br. Vito said. “I really see it as the classic 'Porter' of the old friaries. The brothers
would designate one person to answer the door and attend to the needs of the poor – that’s me!”

Vivian is one of the homeless Br. Vito has gotten to know. “She came one day feeling very depressed. She just wanted to tell someone her story of how as a poor woman she had become a prostitute.” Br. Vito added, “Even though I grew up poor myself I was very shaken by what Vivian shared.”

Listening compassionately to the poor at St. Ben’s helped confirm for him that he is on the right path. Br. Vito noted, “Many people burn out over time. To do this with love my entire life I seek strength in prayer. One of my favorite prayers from St. Francis of Assisi asks God to grant us “true faith, certain hope, and perfect charity…”.

Br. Vito continued, “I also have the support of Br. David Schwab as Ministry Director. Br. Dave empowers me to do as much as I can for the poor. And he has helped me to learn how to do this work daily based on his own life in ministry.” Br. Vito also credits his life as a Catholic with helping him to grow in ministry. “Daily prayer, the celebration of the Eucharist, and playing the guitar at Sunday Mass all help sustain me,” he said.

To learn more about Br. Vito and his journey you can read his blog at:

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