Mel Martinez, Grand Knight of Espanola Council, left, and, Pat Nakagawa, District Deputy Knights of Columbus. Courtesy photo
K OF C News:
“The Knights of Columbus Espanola Council #3314 is a leader among our councils in New Mexico. Worthy Grand Knight Mel Martinez has led and inspired our Espanola Council to this great distinction. As one of the oldest councils, it includes over 500 men who are Knights, making it the largest in the state of New Mexico,” said Pat Nakagawa, District Deputy Knights of Columbus.
“Brother Mel has built a Council, which reaches out to men to join the Knights to strengthen Catholic men, Catholic families, and our Catholic community. Many Northern New Mexico families have been blessed through various acts of charity by the Espanola Knights of Columbus. I am very honored and privileged to know and work with Brother Mel and the great men who are the Knights of the Espanola Council.”
Martinez has been an active member of the Espanola Knights Of Columbus for 40 years and the Grand knight for the last 14 years. Through the years Mel and the Espanola Brother Knights have won many awards and continue to be recognized for the charity work they do.
“I am grateful for the gifts of faith, family and friends and I believe that each day is an opportunity to make someone’s life better,” Martinez said. “As brother Knights we open our hearts to the poor, the disabled, the less fortunate, and our youth. Each brother knight plays a vital role in the success of our council, together we are a strong council.”
The Knights of Columbus is a Catholic, family, fraternal, service organization. This theme permeates the entire Service Program: all church, community, council, family, culture of life, and youth activities. The Council is an important force within the community; the Knights of Columbus continue to show that they are the strong right arm of the Church.
The Espanola Council also actively supports our youth through scholarships and has helped hundreds of people in the Española community with fundraisers to help with unexpected hardships. Food boxes all year also help feed families in need. The youth Columbian Squires give of their time and talent and strive to provide “the spiritual, cultural, civic, social and physical improvement of its members, and the development of their leadership qualities.”
Grand Knight Martinez and the brother Knights are also advocates for Holy Cross Catholic School. Martinez has also been awarded the “Character Counts” Award twice and recognized statewide for his work and support of Holy Cross Catholic School and for helping the students of the school. Martinez believes in serving others and he leads people everyday to step forward and volunteer to help others.
Grand Knight Mel Martinez playing his guitar. Courtesy photo
Martinez also is a well-known musician in Northern New Mexico and continues to play his guitar and sing for all occasions. He has a natural gift and can play almost any instrument. He continues to welcome International businesses from all over the globe to the Espanola Valley by singing and playing his guitar.
“Our music is how we say welcome and the music and song unites us no matter what language we speak.” Martinez said. “I came close to dying two years ago due to a fall, which resulted in a brain injury and had to learn to speak, smile, sing, walk and play my guitar again.
“I thank God, my family and all the people that prayed for me, that is why I am here today singing and playing my guitar and continuing my charity work through the Knights of Columbus. My wife and my kids never left my side for the month I was in the hospital. We witnessed many miracles and I truly believe we walk among many angels everyday. It is important to take the time in our everyday lives to acknowledge the people around us, to help the people around us, and to remain positive and kind no matter what comes our way.
“I tell my kids everyday we can make a difference by how we respond to situations, by how we act, what we do and what we say. Those little acts of kindness mean a great deal to the person that receives it.”