by Michael O’Connell
Bishop Joseph Maguire ‘41 and Father T.J. Martinez SJ ’92, both graduates of Boston College, recently passed away. Bishop Maguire of the Diocese of Springfield, MA passed away in his residence on November 23 at the age of 95. Father Martinez passed away in his home state of Texas on November 28 at the age of 44 following an eight month long battle with stomach cancer.
Bishop Maguire was a native of Brighton, Massachusetts and was born on September 4, 1919. He graduated from St. Columbkille High School in Brighton in 1937 and from Boston College in 1941. He studied for the priesthood at St. John's Seminary in Brighton, and was ordained at Holy Cross Cathedral in Boston on June 29, 1945, by then-Archbishop Richard J. Cushing. He was appointed an auxiliary bishop of Boston on February 2, 1972. He was the fifth bishop to head the Springfield Diocese and was installed Nov. 4, 1977. He retired in December 1991.
During his tenure in Springfield, he strove to make the Catholic Church more inclusive and accessible, establishing programs to better serve Black and Hispanic Catholics living in the area. He also served as a longtime chaplain to the Western Massachusetts Chiefs of Police; his own father was a Boston police detective. He also was actively involved in ecumenical and interfaith activities. In 1986, he was awarded the National Conference of Christians and Jews Human Relations Award. In his final published interview in 2009, which appeared in the pilot edition of The Catholic Mirror diocesan magazine, Bishop Maguire said that looking back at his life, "I was lucky enough to be able to adapt and to roll with punches and not to get too hung up or too confused or too upset about what was transpiring in the world because change is part of our existence."
T.J. Martinez joined the Society of Jesus after graduating from Boston College and, as a Jesuit, earned five graduate degrees, including a law degree from the University of Texas at Austin. A native of Texas, he then headed to Houston to found Cristo Rey Jesuit, the newest Jesuit high school in the country for inner city youth. Under the leadership of the Jesuits, Father Martinez and his core team had grown Cristo Rey Jesuit’s student population from 80 to nearly 500; added 150 blue-ribbon corporations so that every student has a job; purchased a nine-acre embattled facility and renovated it into an architectural award-winning 21st century educational institution; and graduated two classes of seniors, all of whom have been accepted into college.
In 2010, Father Martinez was knighted into the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher, a Papal Knighthood that recognizes outstanding service to the Church, for founding the only Catholic high school in the state of Texas that exclusively serves underprivileged children. In 2014, Boston College awarded Father Martinez the Alumni Ignatian Award which recognizes an alum who lives the mission of “men and women for others” to an exemplary degree. It is evident that his pride and joy was Cristo Rey Jesuit, according to a school release he addressed his students saying, "I will live and die with my favorite story being you and this school."