Parish Office Hours
Monday through Friday, 9 am to 5 pm
Saturday: 5 pm
Sunday: 8 am, 10am, 5 pm
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday: 8:30 am
(followed by Prayers of: International Rosary on Monday, Holy Hour of Reparation including Rosary on Tuesday, and Rosary Prayers on Thursday and Friday)
Wednesday: 6 pm
(preceded by Our Mother of Perpetual Help Devotions, and followed by Adoration until 7:30 pm Benediction)
Saturday: 3:30 - 4:30 pm
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: following Mass until all are heard
Wednesday: 6:45 - 7:15 pm
The early years of Saint Martha Parish are described in Monsignor George C. Michalek’s Living in Joyful Hope: A History of the Diocese of Lansing. He writes –
On Pentecost Sunday 1988, Bishop Kenneth J. Povish canonically established the new parish in Okemos. Rev. Jonathan W. Wehrle was appointed the founding pastor on June twenty-ninth. Fr. Wehrle celebrated the first Mass for the new community on July third in the Okemos High School Auditorium. The auditorium remained the site of Sunday liturgies until the church was constructed. Bishop Povish requested that the parish be named after a new Testament Saint who was not the patron of an existing parish. A list of names was submitted to the Bishop for his approval before a final vote was taken.
An act of redemption occurred when the Diocese purchased the eighteen-acre site of the former x-rated Crest Drive-In Theater. After some controversy with Meridian Township officials, the go ahead was given to build. The former concession stand was converted into a daily mass chapel and dedicated by Bishop Povish on March 1, 1989. As the parish grew, so did the staff. The first pastoral assistant was Jim Thomas who joined the staff in march 1989. Barbara McNicol joined the staff that June. She served the parish until 1997, first as Director of Religious Education and then as Pastoral Minister. Thomas Quasarano was assigned to the parish as a Permanent Deacon in September 1998.
Ground was broken in April 1990 for the church and a nine room, two-story religious education wing. Palm Sunday, 1991 was when the $2.8 million structure was prepared for the first liturgy. The Altar, statues and some of the pews came from St. Vincent Home in Lansing. The chandeliers and some of the stained glass windows came from St. Lawrence Hospital chapel. The three bronze bells came from St. Francis Seminary in Loretta, PA. The first parish mission was preached by Redemptorists that December.
An Ardent Catholic School advocate, Fr. Wehrle set out to open a parish school. In January 1993 a preschool was opened. On August nineteenth that year a school opened with kindergarten through fourth grade. The school year was 200 days rather than the normal 180 required by the state. For the first several years the school was staffed primarily by Sisters of Charity from Cincinnati, Ohio.
In later years, the parish school was served by outstanding lay principals. Following Sister Marie Pauline, S.C. were Helen Hillman, Francie Herring, Elizabeth Snow, Helen Hillman (again), and the current principal, Monica Dowell. Father Wehrle continued to lead the parish, assisted over the years by Father Phil Schweda, Deacon Vince Guarnaccia, and Deacon Carl Boehlert. Many long time staff members including Donna Werner, Sister Pat Newhouse, Nora McMullen, and Chris Korpela served as the friendly face of St. Martha. In 2017, Father Wehrle retired, and was replaced by Father Mike Murray. Father David Hudgins, Deacon Boehlert, and Deacon John Finn provided needed assistance as the transition continued. A vibrant lay staff, including Mrs. Dowell, Lynn Collom, Sister Anita Parks, Don Morgan, Jackie Rosalez, Mitchell Owens, Jarrid Thelen, and IvyLynn Olson also serve the parishioners.