Father Erenest R. Martinez, S.J., Jesuit priest and scripture scholar, died August 24, 2021, in San Jose. He was 89 years old and a member of the Jesuit order for 72 years. He was born December 12, 1931, in Denver, CO, the son of Belarmino Martinez and Maria de as Nieves (Lopez) Martinez, families with deep roots in the Spanish and Mexican eras of New Mexico.
After early schooling in Denver, Erenest and his family moved to California, and when he graduated from St. Ignatius Prep, San Francisco, in 1949, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Los Gatos for studies leading to ordination to the priesthood. During his studies he earned degrees in philosophy (Gonzaga University) and theology (Santa Clara University). Before ordination in 1962, he taught English in Guadalajara and Spanish in San Francisco.
Doctoral studies were made in Rome. He earned a Licentiate in Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute and a doctorate in Theology from the Gregorian University. He served as professor of scripture and theology at Loyola Marymount University (1969-70), professor of systematic theology and New Testament at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley (1971-79). He then returned to Rome and taught New Testament at the Pontifical Biblical Institute (1979-81) and New Testament Spirituality at the Gregorian University (1989-2015). In addition, he served the Diocese of Oakland as Scripture consultant in the departments of adult education and catechetical ministry. He did regular parish ministry and was a popular presenter at Bible conferences in Bay Area churches and study groups. He authored many scholarly books and articles in his field.
Father Martinez is survived by his niece, Ellen Kerrigan, of San Francisco, and many other nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral Mass will be held Friday, September 3, 2021 at 11:15 am at Jesuit Center, Los Gatos. Due to COVID restrictions, in-person attendance will not be open to the public, but the funeral will be livestreamed. Please click here to view Mass.