Skip to main content

Previous News Articles

The Florida Catholic

New priest ready for new chapter in life

Fr. Martin

PALM BEACH GARDENS  |  When Father Joshua Martin officially begins his ministry at St. Anastasia Parish in Fort Pierce July 1, 2024, he hopes to focus on building relationships, being with parishioners, and experiencing with them the highs and lows of life.

Speaking with the Florida Catholic before his May 4 priestly ordination, Father Martin, who was born in Ecuador and moved to the United States at 3 years old, recalled growing up in his Catholic family in Stuart and Palm City, preferring to be with his friends, playing basketball. Anything but going to Mass.

“There was always that tension of my mother bringing me to church, me trying to run away, things of that sort,” he said. “I didn’t really feel like I belonged when I went to church. I felt like, ‘OK, the priest is there to do his thing and then I’m here in the pew just listening or zoning out, just waiting for the hour to pass.’ I really never got anything from my faith.”

In his early years, attending a nondenominational Christian school, he had no Catholic friends with whom he could relate. But he did know the story of Christ’s suffering and death. Father Martin said he didn’t feel a connection to Jesus until, as a high school youth group member, a deacon at his parish, St. Joseph in Stuart, gave him his very own Bible. They had Bibles at home, but he never opened them. He began to feast on his Bible, and he couldn’t get enough. 

“I just started reading the Gospels because I really wanted to know more than just the passion narrative,” Father Martin said. “From there, I began reading and I just fell in love with Scripture. I felt that Christ was really present, really there in front of me.” He would often stay up late trying to finish reading a chapter from the Gospels.

Father Martin credits the devotion of his family to follow the Lord and praying the rosary as a family with establishing his foundation to love God and the Eucharist. Feeling a call to the priesthood at age 17 to 18, he began meeting with a spiritual director, which reinforced his desire to serve.

“I really wanted to be just like him because he was a very holy priest, just down-to-earth, humble,” Father Martin said. “All these graces that he had from God, he manifested.” After graduating from Martin County High School in 2015, he decided to pursue priesthood for the Diocese of Palm Beach.  

“Throughout seminary, the friends that I made — priest friends that I made — they really helped me see the beauty of life, the beauty of the priesthood, and it really just fanned the flame wanting to become a priest,” Father Martin said.

Now a 27-year-old priest, he looks forward to nurturing a strong relationship with Jesus among young people. “I know what it’s like growing up in the culture and what the culture does to the youth and how that affects them in every aspect, with music, movies, friends,” Father Martin said.

He hopes to be a positive influence on current and future generations, instilling hope and pouring out God’s grace through the sacraments, especially reconciliation (“the moment of the cross,” he said) and Eucharist. 

“There’s so much to look forward to,” Father Martin said. “I may think, ‘Oh, yeah, this is the end.’ But it’s a whole new beginning. A new chapter.”

For information on vocations to the priesthood and religious life, call 561-775-9552 or email, visit or follow the Office of Vocations and Seminarians on Facebook and Instagram.