Inspired and Inspiring
Published on October 5-6, 2013 in the Parish Bulletin of Saint Andrew Catholic Church, Harrodsburg KY
The first ever Diocesan Musician Award was presented to our very own Jo Ann Martin on September 27 at the 8th Annual Clergy and Musicians Dinner at the Church of the Annunciation in Paris, Kentucky. She was singled out of the nominations from all the other parishes as worthy of recognition on this the 25th Anniversary of our Diocese.
Jo Ann Martin (born 1935) began her ministry of music at Saint Andrew’s when she was just fourteen years old. She served as Church organist for some 45 years, from 1949 to Easter of 1994. She never once asked for compensation for her service; she offered her gifts out of love for the parish and the Church. She inherited this spirit of service from her late mother, Alma Beatrice Carey Warner, who was for many years the catechist who prepared the children of Saint Nicholas Church in Rose Hill for their reception of the Sacraments.
Jo Ann continues to sing in our Church choir at every weekend Mass and Holy Day. As sacristan, she also sets up for Mass and assists in decorating the Church according to the different liturgical seasons and solemnities. Macular degeneration hardly has slowed her down; she has the music enlarged on the photocopier so that she can sing with our choir every time we come to celebrate Mass.
In 1996, Jo Ann and her late husband Robert “Bob” Martin (1934-2009) gave a generous gift to the parish in memory of her parents, Joseph Vincent (1912-1995) and Alma B. Warner (1911-1974), that allowed Saint Andrew’s to purchase the pipe organ that now graces the niche to the right of our present sanctuary. This organ, Opus 42, was built in 1968 by the Noack Organ Company, Inc. in Massachusetts. It has one manual (keyboard) and a pedalboard, three stops (8 Gedackt, 4 Standard Flute, and 2 Principal) and three ranks built into a freestanding hardwood case. It was used at the Chapel of Our Lady of Bethlehem from 1968 to 1969 and by Sr. Emily (formerly Sr. Mary Victoria) Rokos, CSJ (born 1924) in the choir rooms of the schools (Our Lady of Bethlehem Academy and Nazareth Academy) of the Sisters of Saint Joseph in La Grange Park, Illinois, prior to being purchased by Saint Andrew’s.
Jo Ann Martin’s dedication and devotion to the Church has long gone unrecognized beyond Mercer County. But, that is no longer the case. Now everyone else in our Diocese knows what we at Saint Andrew’s have known all along: that her ministry of music is not just inspired; it is also inspiring.