James Martin to Deliver Penn’s 2011 Baccalaureate Address

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Media Contact:Jill DiSanto-Haines | jdisanto@upenn.edu | 215-898-4820April 6, 2011

PHILADELPHIA — The Rev. James Martin, a Jesuit priest, author and culture editor of America, a national Catholic magazine, will speak at the University of Pennsylvania’s 2011 Baccalaureate ceremonies on Sunday, May 15, in Irvine Auditorium, 3401 Spruce St.

Two ceremonies will be held, one at 1:30 p.m. for graduates whose last names begin with A through K and another at 3 p.m. for the L-Z graduates.

Martin, a native of Plymouth Meeting, Pa., is a 1982 graduate of Penn’s Wharton School, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics with a concentration in finance.  He studied philosophy at Loyola University Chicago and earned master’s degrees in divinity and theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass.

He took his final vows as a Jesuit priest on Nov. 1, 2009.

During his career, Martin has traveled the globe, helping vulnerable populations.  He has worked in a hospice for the sick and dying in Kingston, Jamaica; a school for poor boys in New York City; with an outreach program to help street-gang members in Chicago; and a community center where he helped the unemployed.  He has also worked in Nairobi, Kenya, where he helped East African refugees start small businesses, and as a chaplain in a Boston prison.

Martin holds an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Wagner College in New York and honorary doctor of humane letters degrees from Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia and from Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.

He is the author of several books, including his best-selling memoir, “My Life with the Saints” (Loyola, 2006), “A Jesuit Off-Broadway: Center Stage with Jesus, Judas and Life’s Big Questions” (Loyola, 2007), “Becoming Who You Are: Insights on the True Self From Thomas Merton and Other Saints” (Paulist, 2006), “Searching for God at Ground Zer” (Sheed & Ward, 2002)  and “In Good Company: The Fast Track from the Corporate World to Poverty, Chastity and Obedience” (Sheed & Ward, 2000).

His latest book is “The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything: A Spirituality for Real Life” (HarperOne, 2010), and he will do a book signing at the Penn Bookstore after the Baccalaureate ceremonies, at 4:30 p.m. 

Aside from his editorial and publishing work, Martin addresses gatherings of clergy and laity, speaks at colleges and universities across the U.S. and leads seminars and retreats.  On Sundays, he assists at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City.