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Rev. Msgr. Ralph L. Martin

Deceased: 2021-01-12


ICTE Spring: 1995

Monsignor Ralph Martin, a beloved priest and pastor of the Diocese of Wilmington, died Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at The Jeanne Jugan Residence. He was the son of the late Harry L. Martin and Nellie P. Martin, and ordained to the priesthood May 22, 1965 at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Wilmington, Delaware by the late Bishop Michael W. Hyle.

Monsignor Martin studied theology at Mount St. Mary’s Seminary and received his Master’s Degree from Fordham University. He served at the following parishes: St. Thomas the Apostle, Wilmington, Parish of the Resurrection, Newark, St. Matthew’s, Woodcrest, Good Shepherd, Perryville, St. Catherine of Siena, Wilmington and St. Polycarp, Smyrna. He was involved in the origins of St. Mark’s High School and taught several years on the initial faculty. He also served on several boards within the Diocese of Wilmington including: Priest’s Personnel, Diocesan Consultors, Pastoral Council, and Catholic Diocese Foundation. Monsignor Martin was Dean of the then Millcreek Deanery. Bishop Michael Saltarelli named Monsignor Martin as the first Director of Seminarians in December, 2001, to monitor the formation of Seminarians.

Amid all this he was a caring pastor in the model of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Many counted him a dear friend. He expressed a joy that gave hope and courage to many people, and helped lead them to God.

In addition to his parents, Monsignor Martin is pre-deceased by his sister, Laura Catherine Martin Ray. He is survived by his brother, John J. Martin; nieces and nephews, and great and great-great nieces and nephews. Upon retirement from pastoral duties in 2002, Monsignor Martin made his home with longtime friends, Mr. Joseph and Sharon Charnik and family of New Castle. He then moved to the Little Sisters of the Poor Jeanne Jugan Residence for his final years.

Monsignor Martin’s Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Catherine of Siena Church, 2503 Centerville Road, Wilmington, DE 19808 on Friday, January 22nd at 11:00 am. A viewing will held from 9:30am – 10:30am at the Doherty Funeral Home, 3200 Limestone Road, Wilmington, DE 19808. COVID restrictions will apply. Persons wishing to attend Mass must register with St. Catherine of Siena Offic, due to limitations on attendance.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Monsignor’s memory can be made to the Jeanne Jugan Residence, 185 Salem Church Road, Newark, DE 19713 or to Catholic Charities, 2601 W 4th Street, Wilmington, DE 19805.

To offer condolences and view details on Msgr. Martin’s Memorial Mass scheduled for January 26 at St. Polycarp Church in Smyrna, please visit: