Navigation Links
The Rev. Joseph C. Martin, Leading Authority on Alcoholism and Addiction Treatment, Dies at 84

Catholic Priest Co-Founded Father Martin's Ashley Treatment Center in Maryland

HAVRE DE GRACE, Md., March 9 /PRNewswire/ -- The Rev. Joseph C. Martin, S.S., noted authority and lecturer on alcoholism who co-founded Father Martin's Ashley, an addiction treatment center in Havre de Grace, MD, died today at his home in Havre de Grace. He was 84.

Best known for his lectures on alcoholism as a disease, delivered to alcoholics and their families with his charismatic style and sense of humor, Fr. Martin is credited with saving the lives of thousands of alcoholics and addicts. While he retired from active management in 2003, he continued to lecture at Father Martin's Ashley, addressing patients as recently as November 2008.

"Today, the entire treatment community mourns the loss of an icon," said the Rev. Mark Hushen, president and chief executive officer of Father Martin's Ashley. "The death of Father Martin marks the end of an era.

"His world renowned 'Chalk Talk on Alcohol' changed the lives of thousands of recovering alcoholics," Hushen said. "His humor and spirituality infused his teachings with hope. He believed in the innate dignity of the human person and founded Father Martin's Ashley as an oasis where alcoholics and addicts could heal."

Fr. Martin's "Chalk Talk on Alcohol" lecture, which began: "I'm Joe Martin, and I'm an alcoholic," and more than 40 motivational films, are legendary. His films, which have been translated into multiple languages, continue to be used at treatment centers around the world, in hospitals, substance abuse programs, industry, and most branches of the U.S. government. He is the author of several publications, including Chalk Talks on Alcohol, published by Harper & Row in 1982, which is still in print.

Fr. Martin and Father Martin's Ashley co-founder Mae Abraham raised funds to buy and renovate Oakington, the estate owned by the widow of U.S. Senator Millard Tydings located on the Chesapeake Bay near Havre de Grace. The center, which opened in 1983, has since provided treatment to more than 40,000 people suffering from the disease of addiction and has provided program services to their families. Two years after Father Martin's Ashley opened its doors, Forbes magazine ranked it as one of the top ten addiction treatment facilities in the country. Today, patients come from the East Coast and across the U.S. to the 85-bed facility, which has a reputation for treating alcohol and drug addiction and relapse with respect for the dignity of each individual who enters its doors.

In 1972, the U.S. Navy filmed Martin's "The Blackboard Talk," which they then dubbed "The Chalk Talk." It became known throughout the U.S. military and established Fr. Martin as a recognized leader in the addiction treatment field.

In 1991, Fr. Martin was invited by Pope John Paul II to participate in the Vatican's International Conference on Drugs and Alcohol. He made four trips to Russia under the auspices of the International Institute on Alcohol Education and Training, and also traveled to Switzerland and Poland to speak to Alcoholics Anonymous groups as well as to addiction counselors in training.

Fr. Martin's honors and awards include the Andrew White Medal from Loyola College, Baltimore, for his contributions to the general welfare of the citizenry of Maryland; Rutgers University's Summer School of Alcohol Studies' Distinguished Service Award (1988); and Norman Vincent Peale Award (1992).

Born the fourth of seven children in Baltimore on October 12, 1924, Fr. Martin graduated from Loyola High School in 1942, where he was valedictorian. He then attended Loyola College (1942-44). He studied for the priesthood at St. Mary's Seminary and St. Mary's Roland Park in Baltimore (1944-48), and was ordained a priest of the Society of Saint Sulpice, whose mission is to train and educate seminarians, in 1948.

Fr. Martin held teaching positions at St. Joseph's College in Mountain View, CA (1948-56) and St. Charles College, Catonsville, MD (1956-59).

In 1958, Fr. Martin began his recovery from alcoholism. Following treatment, he worked as a lecturer and educator in the Division of Alcohol Control for the state of Maryland prior to founding Father Martin's Ashley.

"As Father Martin passes through death to life, his legacy lives on at Ashley as we continue his mission of hope and healing," said Fr. Hushen. "Truly, the world is a better place for his having been here."

Fr. Martin is survived by Mae and Tommy Abraham, with whom he lived for more than 30 years, siblings Dorothy, Frances, and Edward; and numerous nieces, nephews, and their children.

The viewing will be held on Thursday, March 12, from 1 pm to 9 pm at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore. Fr. Martin's Mass of Celebration of the Resurrection will be held on Friday, March 13 at 10 am at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD. Interment will be private.

Expressions of remembrance may be e-mailed to or mailed to Father Martin Remembrance, Father Martin's Ashley, 800 Tydings Lane, Havre de Grace, MD 21078. They will be posted on the Father Martin's Ashley Web site at

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Father Martin's Ashley treatment center, 800 Tydings Lane, Havre de Grace, MD 21078 or to The Associated Sulpicians of the U.S., 5408 Roland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21210.

    Lisa Bucklin Williams
    Director of Marketing and Public Relations
    Father Martin's Ashley
    Phone: 410-273-2220

SOURCE Father Martin's Ashley
Copyright©2009 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Joseph D. Zuckerman, M.D., Elected President of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
2. Founders Club Proudly Supports the St. Josephs/Candler Mammography Fund
3. St. Joseph Health System Fights Childhood Obesity With New Healthy For Life Program
4. Saint Josephs Adds Renowned Cardiothoracic Surgeon
5. Saint Josephs Launches International College of Robotic Surgery
6. Conrad J. Heilman to Succeed Joseph S. Tempio as President and CEO of Tunnell Consulting
7. As Charges Mount, Caregivers and Supporters Call on Sisters of St. Joseph of Orange to Help Stop Unlawful Intimidation of Workers
8. Joseph H. Kanter Family Foundation and eHealth Initiative Foundation Launch Partnership to Conduct Research on Health Outcomes, Comparative Effectiveness
9. $2.1 Million Lasik Malpractice Settlement Against Celebrity Physician Dr. Joseph Dello Russo
10. St. Joseph Health System Caregivers Demand Foley & Lardner Stop Intimidation, and Waste of Valuable Patient Care Resources
11. Saint Josephs Hospital of Atlanta Sued Over Patient Admission and Billing Scheme, According to Page Perry, LLC
Post Your Comments:
(Date:11/25/2015)... , ... November 25, 2015 , ... Dental professionals who ... Cleveland, OH , are invited to attend Dr. Mark Iacobelli’s Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM) ... in Cleveland, OH. , As the co-founders of Advanced Implant Mentoring (AIM), Dr. ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... IL (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... The ... announce a recent successful appellate decision obtained by Attorneys Francisco J. Botto and Alex ... Adcock v. Illinois Workers’ Compensation Comm’n, 2015 IL App (2d) 130884WC. , According to ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... a double board certified facial plastic surgeon specializing in both surgical and non-surgical ... of The Skin Spa at Hobgood Facial Plastic Surgery. , Highly trained ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... ... November 25, 2015 , ... In an ongoing Clinical Study ... (RMC) in Chicago, IL, UV Angel is evaluating the efficacy of its product and ... care units (totaling 30 beds) from May 2014 through October 2015 at a 360-bed, ...
(Date:11/25/2015)... Missouri (PRWEB) , ... November 25, 2015 , ... ... HEAL, will provide scholarships for people struggling with eating disorders as a result ... from the second annual event, held at Fox Run Golf Club in Eureka, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... SAN FRANCISCO , November 26, 2015 ... 1.82 billion by 2022, according to a new report by ... as Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) which demands kidney transplantation is ... convenient and cost effective substitute for organ transplantation. --> ... 1.82 billion by 2022, according to a new report by ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... 26, 2015 ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ... Surface Testing Market: Supplier Shares, Competitive ... offering.  --> ) ... "2016 Future Horizons and Growth Strategies ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , Nov. 26, 2015 Research and Markets ... "Advanced Wound Care Market by Type (Dressings, Therapy ... User (In-Patient Facility, Out-Patient Facility), and Geography - Global ... --> --> The ... definition and forecast of the global advanced wound care ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: