The Roman Catholic Diocese of Belize City and Belmopan announced the death of our brother Bishop Emeritus Osmond Peter Martin early in the morning of Thursday, February 16, 2017.  Bishop Martin died in his sleep while residing at his family home in Dangriga.  He was 86 years old and had been struggling with the ailments of the aging process for some time.

O. P. Martin was ordained a priest on April 3, 1959 in Dangriga after completing studies at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary in St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.  He served at parishes in Corozal, San Ignacio, St. Joseph, and Holy Redeemer Cathedral.  On October 7, 1982 he was ordained Auxiliary Bishop, making him the first Garifuna and Belizean bishop for the Church.  After just a few years, on January 16, 1984, he was appointed the Bishop of Belize City and Belmopan.  He served the Church in that leadership role until his retirement in 2007.

In a press release the Government of Belize expressed its deepest condolences to the family, friends and Roman Catholic community on the passing of the Reverend Bishop Osmond Peter Martin.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Belize City and Belmopan wishes to invite the people of God in Belize to join us in celebrating the life of our brother Bishop Emeritus Osmund Peter Martin.  He was born on December 3, 1930 in Dangriga and died early in the morning of Thursday, February 16, 2017.

Many have already remembered Bishop Martin in masses and prayers. The Diocese of Belize City and Belmopan invites the people of Belize to join us in one or another of the following masses:

· Memorial Mass at Sacred Heart Parish in Dangriga at 11am on Sunday, February 26, 2017 with viewing of the body beginning at 10:15am.

· Memorial Mass at Holy Redeemer Cathedral in Belize City at 9am on Monday, February 27, 2017 with viewing of the body beginning at 8am.

· Official Funeral with Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-cathedral in Belmopan at 2pm on Monday, February 27, 2017 with viewing of the body beginning at 1pm.

· Burial in the Church yard of Our Lady of Guadalupe Co-cathedral in Belmopan.

All are welcome to attend these masses. The Mass in Belmopan is called an Official Funeral, because the Government of Belize has offered to honor Bishop Martin with this recognition, and the family and Roman Catholic Church have agreed to accept this privilege.

The Belize Council of Churches/Belize Assn. of Evangelical Churches as Belizeans who cannot attend to continue to pray with the Church in Belize for the family of Bishop Martin, for the clergy, and all the people Bishop Martin served so faithfully during his ministry as priest and bishop in Belize.

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Solani Graniel