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Fr. Roch Martin of Sudbury named new Vicar General of Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie

Current pastor of St. Jean-de-Brebeuf Church in Sudbury, Martin takes on the role of Vicar General starting August 1
2021-05-05 - Fr. Roch Martin
Fr. Roch Martin takes on his new role starting Aug. 1, 2021.

Fr. Roch Martin, currently Pastor of St. Jean-de-Brebeuf Church in Sudbury has been appointed a new Vicar General for the Diocese, Bishop Thomas Dowd of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie announced today in a news release.

A vicar general is a priest who assists the Bishop in the governance of a diocese, and has authority to act on behalf of the Bishop.

“I was surprised that the Bishop thought of me for this particular appointment, I did not expect this at all,” said Fr. Martin from his parish in Sudbury, “I gladly accepted with the condition that the Bishop will guide and support me so I can learn this role and serve the people of the Diocese in the best way.”

Fr. Martin takes on the new role starting Aug. 1. 

The full release is as follows:

Bishop Thomas Dowd of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie announced today that he has appointed a new Vicar General for the Diocese. Fr. Roch Martin, currently Pastor of St. Jean-de-Brebeuf Church in Sudbury, takes on the new position effective Aug. 1, 2021.

A vicar general is a priest who assists the Bishop in the governance of a diocese, and has authority to act on behalf of the Bishop. On his appointment, the vicar general becomes the highest-ranking official of a diocese after the Bishop.

Fr. Roch Martin, ordained a Catholic priest in 1995, has served many churches around the Greater Sudbury area. “I was surprised that the Bishop thought of me for this particular appointment, I did not expect this at all,” said Fr. Martin from his parish in Sudbury, “I gladly accepted with the condition that the Bishop will guide and support me so I can learn this role and serve the people of the Diocese in the best way.”

As the current pandemic has brought new challenges of gathering together to worship, Fr. Martin hopes to tackle these challenges among others in his new role. “We have been reaching out to people in so many different ways over the past year, obviously as our situation continues to change, we have to think about what it will be like when the pandemic is over,” said Fr. Martin, “how do we invite people back to their parish communities, and continue to reach out in many different ways to them?”

“Fr. Martin is highly respected by both the clergy and parishioners of our Diocese, and will undoubtedly serve us well in this new position,” said Bishop Thomas Dowd, Bishop of the Diocese of Sault Ste. Marie, “I am very much looking forward to working together with him.”

The position of Vicar General has been vacant since May 2020, when the former Bishop of the Diocese, Marcel Damphousse was appointed Archbishop of Ottawa-Cornwall.

On what Fr. Martin will miss about working within a church community, he said “I will miss my people, you get attached to the people you serve, they become your family.”

Following custom, Fr. Martin may now be referred to as “Monsignor” for as long as he holds the vicar general position.

A new pastor for St. Jean-de-Brebeuf Church in Sudbury will be announced at a later date.