St. Martin of Tours
The St. Martin of Tours parish in the Dutch territory of St. Maarten consists of not one but three churches: St. Martin of Tours in Philipsburg, Mary Star of the Sea in Simpson Bay, and The Risen Christ in South Reward.
The parish presently is served by three Divine Word Missionaries. The first one began ministry in St. Maarten, a part of the Diocese of Willemstad, in 2005.
The Catholic community on the island dates back to the mid-17th century. As the number of Catholics grew so did the structures in which they worshipped. The current church buildings were constructed in 1952, 1965 and 1977, respectively. There is a need for a fourth large church.
This multi-ethnic parish has an estimated 22,000 members, representing well over 100 ethnic groups. In addition to the descendants of the original St. Maarteners, the parish includes Europeans, Americans, Canadians, Indians, Lebanese, Haitians, Hispanics and Filipinos—to mention just a few groups. International tourists also become a part of the life of the parish community when on the island.
This large parish is abuzz with numerous organizations to meet the needs of the parish members and those to whom it reaches out. Within the parish, there are six Catholic grade schools, one Catholic high school and the Center for Catechesis. Parishioners also volunteer to staff the Bishop William M. Ellis Foundation’s office and warehouse. Established by the parish in 2004, the foundation provides non-perishable food to the island’s poor and needy.
Masses at St. Martin of Tours (Philipsburg):
6 a.m. (English)
7 a.m. and noon (English)
6:30 a.m. (English)
6 p.m. (English)
8:30 a.m. (English)
7 p.m. (Spanish)
First Friday of each month 7 p.m. (English)
Mass at The Risen Lord (South Reward):
11 a.m. (English)
First Sunday of each month 7 p.m. (Haitian/Creole)
Mass at Mary Star of the Sea (Simpson Bay):
7 a.m. (English)
5 p.m. (English)
For more information about the Bishop William M. Ellis Foundation or St. Martin of Tours in St. Maarten, contact the Divine Word Missionaries at (+1) (599) 542-2303.
St. Martin of Tours
51 Front Street
P.O. Box 11
St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles