FATHER TJ MARTINEZ, SJ
Cristo Rey Jesuit College Prepatory School of Houston
By Carla Valencia de Martinez
THE LARGER THAN LIFE, fearless leader of Cristo Rey Jesuit Prep School passed away after a battle with cancer over Thanksgiving in 2014. Those who had the chance to meet and interact with the Jesuit priest walked away inspired and happy. Father TJ Martinez’s happiness and enthusiasm for whatever he happened to be working on that moment (and it was usually a bunch of things at once) was contagious. This is probably how all of his goals in his way too short life were achieved. I can only believe that God had a plan for him all along, and he knew he didn’t have a lifetime to get it all done. The Catholic high school Martinez established in 2009 combines personal responsibility, academic rigor and a corporate work-study program to empower students of all faiths from economically challenged families to reach their full potential. Since its inception 100% of his students have been accepted to college. The legacy he leaves will never be forgotten and remains in the children who will become the leaders of tomorrow thanks to Father Martinez’s belief in them.