NEW YORK — Last month, friars and family members of Erlinda Martinez gathered to commemorate her 25 years as a staff member of Holy Name Province. She was presented with the Province’s Francis Medal at a Sept. 17 celebration at St. Francis Friary.
“I would like to work for the Province as long as I can. That’s what I wish for myself,” said Martinez, general accountant in the Provincial Office. The Francis Medal is given to individuals whose lives best exemplify the life and values of St. Francis of Assisi.
Though she was not surprised to receive the Francis Medal, after executive secretary Theresa Bartha was presented with the medal for her 25th anniversary in 2010, Martinez described the honor as “overwhelming.” She said, “I was excited, and I felt so good. I was on cloud nine from the celebration.”
Both friars who have worked closely with Martinez — Dennis Wilson, OFM, and Rayner Williams, OFM — attended the celebration, along with present and past Provincial Ministers John O’Connor, OFM, John Felice, OFM, and Anthony Carrozzo, OFM, and other friars.
On Sept. 19, Martinez celebrated with her Provincial Office coworkers during a luncheon. Provincial Secretary Michael Harlan, OFM, coordinated and attended both events.
“When I was first hired, I worked as Fr. Rayner’s assistant,” she said. “As the accounting department expanded, I took on more responsibilities.” When Rayner left the Provincial Office to work for St. Anthony’s Guild, the Province’s fundraising partner, Martinez occasionally helped organize the guild’s books. Eventually, the guild hired her husband, Roberto, also a CPA, as an accountant.
Originally from Manila, Philippines, Martinez moved to the United States in May 1971. Prior to her job in the Provincial Office, she worked for import and export businesses. She and her husband, residents of Marlboro, N.J., have two sons — Terence of Somerset, N.J., and Francis of Arlington, Va. — and three grandchildren JT, Bianca and Vikram.
“I can’t imagine working anywhere besides Holy Name Province,” reflected Martinez, whose birthday is today — Oct. 26. “The friars know me and they know my abilities. I love it.”
— Rebecca Doel is communications coordinator for Holy Name Province.
Editor’s note: A photo of Martinez with her colleagues — both lay employees and friars — taken in 1988 appears behind the above image. The photo of Martinez with her family was taken at the Sept. 17 celebration.