PUSHED Mission Statement
We, the members of St. Martin de Porres Parish
Are PUSHED by God's Spirit, to:
P - Pray
U - Unite
S - Serve
H - Help
E - Evangelize
D - Deliver
The WORD in our Mission Field!
A Message from our Pastor
Fr. Peter Ekanem
St. Martin de Porres Church is of the Roman Catholic tradition and located in the central city of Buffalo, New York. Pushed by the Holy Spirit and inspired by the great life of our patron saint, St Martin de Porres, our parishioners have a glowing passion for carrying out spiritually and mentally rewarding activities to grow their relationships with God and their neighbor: praying together as the family of God's people, serving the needy, encouraging the low in spirit, and providing a welcoming atmosphere to the guests in our midst. We are a people of many colors, tongues, and nations.
On this website, the history of our parish, as well as information regarding the ministries we operate, is made available for anyone who would love to know more about us. On behalf of our Media and Communications Ministry which supports this website, I am happy to welcome you here, and thank you for visiting. God is good all the time...
Our Previous Pastors
Rev. Ronald P. Sajdak
Rev. Sajdak was born and raised in the Buffalo area. In 1977 he left Buffalo and moved to Boston, MA where he joined a religious community of priests and brothers. In 1979 he relocated to a monastery in Washington, DC where he began graduate studies at the Catholic University of America. In 1983 he left the religious community but continued to live in Washington for an additional
ten years where he finished his graduate studies with a Masters in Theological Study Degree from Washington Theological Union Seminary. While in the DC Metropolitan area, Ron worked with the
homeless poor as well as functioned as a lay minister at a local Catholic Church community.
Returning to Buffalo in July of 1993, Fr. Ron earned a Masters Degree in Pastoral Ministry from Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora and in 1995 was ordained a transitional Deacon of the Roman Catholic Church. In 1996 he was ordained a Roman Catholic priest by the twelfth bishop of Buffalo, Henry J. Mansell. He has served at St. John the Evangelist in South Buffalo from 1995-1997 and St. Bernadette Church in Orchard Park, NY from 1997 to 2002. In July 2002 he was named the second pastor of St. Martin de Porres, succeeding the founding Pastor Fr. Dr. Roderick M. Brown. Fr. Sajdak served as Pastor of St. Martin de Porres for sixteen years until September of 2018 when he moved into the Harris Hill rectory and began full-time ministry with Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish.
Under his leadership, St. Martin de Porres parish had opened their parish doors to neighborhood concerns as well as hosting a number of different groups and events including but not limited to: The DePorres Grove Series for Parish and Neighborhood Evangelization, The Esther Program: Women’s Spirituality Group, Youth Chapter/Gospel Music Workshop of America Concert Series, New Beginnings Gospel Ensemble rehearsals and yearly concerts, Community and neighborhood-wide meetings, “Voice Buffalo” public gatherings, Diocesan Revivals, and the Mohammad’s School of Music Recital Series. Fr. Sajdak completed the founding Pastor Fr. Brown’s and parishioner’s dream by celebrating the Burning of the Parish Building Fund Mortgage in 2013.
Rev. Roderick M. Brown, OP
The Rev. Roderick M. Brown, founding pastor of St. Martin de Porres Parish in Buffalo and a spiritual leader for many African-American Catholics, died unexpectedly Wednesday in Resurrection Hospital in Chicago. He was 71.
The Chicago native served as a priest in the Buffalo diocese for 14 years, and he coordinated the consolidation of several central city parishes into St. Martin de Porres in 1993, which led to the building of a new church on Northampton Street. The structure was the first Catholic church in Buffalo to be built with features that reflect black culture and traditions.
Father Brown graduated from Corpus Christi High School in Chicago in 1960 and served as a U.S. Navy corpsman from 1960 to 1964. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Chicago State University in 1974. He entered the novitiate of the Dominican Friars the same year. He studied at St. Rose of Lima Priory in Dubuque, Iowa and the Aquinas Institute of Theology prior to his ordination to the priesthood in 1979 in Dubuque.Father Brown did doctoral studies at LaSalle University in Philadelphia. In 1979, he was assigned to campus ministry at Texas Southern University in Houston. He served as vicar for black ministry in the Diocese of Lansing, Mich., and was pastor of Christ the King Parish in Flint. Later, he was part of team ministry at Visitation Parish in Chicago.In 1988, Bishop Edward D. Head invited Father Brown to Buffalo, where he served as vicar of the Central Buffalo vicariate and pastor of St. Matthew and St. Bartholomew parishes.
As Central City Vicar Fr. Brown led discussions in a move to merge four central city parishes: St. Matthews, Our Lady of Lourdes, St. Boniface, and St. Benedict de Moore. On March 7th, 1993 the Diocese of Buffalo celebrated the institution of a new parish community, St. Martin de Porres. After the sale of the merged parish properties combined with other resources building began upon a new church home for the new congregation. On March 11th, 2000 the new St. Martin de Porres RC Church, located at 555 Northampton Street in the City of Buffalo was consecrated by the Most Rev. Henry J. Mansell. Father Brown also was involved in interfaith efforts and broader community outreach, and he wrote a book, “A Gathering at the River,” which traced the history of African-American Catholics in the Buffalo diocese.Father Brown moved back to Chicago following a 2002 diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. “I’ve grown to love Buffalo and think of it as my home. I’m going to miss it very much,” he said in an interview at the time.He returned to St. Pius V Priory in Chicago on limited service due to his health. He moved to Resurrection Life Center in Chicago in 2008. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated in October of 2013 at St. Vincent Ferrer Parish in River Forest, Ill.