Monday, March 06, 2006

Those Darn Jesuits . . . A Stand-Up Guy

It’s no joke: One-time comedian feels called to priesthood

By John Shaughnessy

The feeling overwhelmed Jake Martin—even far more than on those nights when he once believed there could be no better sensation than having audiences cheering and laughing as he performed improvisational comedy on a stage in Chicago.

Back then, Martin dreamed of riding the same rocket to fame that had taken fellow Improv Olympic talents Mike Myers, Vince Vaughn and Tina Fey to stardom in movies and TV shows like Saturday Night Live.

Yet, just as scenes can change quickly in improvisational comedy, so can the same changes come in life. At least they did for Martin, who gave up the stage and his dream of being a star to follow a calling to the priesthood that led to the most incredible moment he has ever experienced.

That moment came shortly after he started working at a home for the dying poor in Cleveland as a Jesuit novice.

“I had only been there about two weeks,” Martin recalled as he relaxed at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School in Indianapolis, where he now teaches. “One of the women really didn’t talk to the staff, but she liked me. We started saying the rosary together every day. I went in one day, and she was in tremendous pain and fading fast.

“She was in so much pain she couldn’t continue the rosary. I held her hand and she squeezed my hand so hard because of the pain. It was the most incredible moment of my life. I realized the importance of being with someone at that moment in their life. It was amazing.”

read the rest here.


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