Over 25 year ago Fred Martinez had been heavily involved with sidewalk counseling in New Mexico and California. He finished his master’s degree in Public Affairs. Fred had recently been accepted to study phenomenology, a branch of philosophy in the small European country of Liechtenstein.
Only weeks after, Fred was invited by his pro-life ally Angie Mendoza to attend a speech by Bob Pearson. Mr. Pearson had created the first crisis pregnancy center in Hawaii in 1968 in response to the legalization of abortion in that state. Additionally he created a model for the creation of new crisis counseling centers and traveled across the United States inspiring others to follow in his footsteps.
Mrs. Mendoza suggested to Fred to start such a center. With his future in Liechtenstein in mind, Fred declined. Undeterred Angie quietly asked him to pray about it.
Fred went before the Blessed Sacrament and prayed to our Lord Jesus. He then received an answer with 100% certitude from Our Lord compelling him to give up his plans of moving to Europe and start a pregnancy center in San Jose. Fred laughs as he says, “Well, I was only going to say yes because our Lord asked me. Any other person would have received the answer no. How could I say no to our Lord?”
Fred began visiting pastors, asking for their guidance and support. Upon visiting with Monsignor Sweeney of Our Lady of Peace, the monsignor accepted Fred’s request to begin a Catholic crisis pregnancy center. Thereafter Msgr. Sweeney became the first spiritual advisor for the center.
From there others rose up to assist with the immense undertaking. Fred asserts that The Legion of Mary’s prayers to our Blessed Mother and St. Joseph were instrumental in the Juan Diego Women’s Center’s establishment. In answer to these prayers, the location for the center was found. With the assistance of Msgr. Sweeney and Our Lady of Peace parishioners, rent was obtained to secure the office on White Road and Alum Rock. Therein a chapel was created and dedicated to our Blessed Mother. Fred lovingly placed a plaque on the chapel’s door reading, “Directress”. As Fred sees it, Our Blessed Mother was the one really in charge.
Fred continues to pray for the organization that he and others founded. He prays that the original intent of the Society, to save as many children from abortion as possible, carries on far into the future. Fred expresses passionately that he prays that this is kept first and foremost in each and every person’s mind and heart that works at Juan Diego.
Mr. Fred Martinez, we thank you for your service to our Lord and His Mother to open up St. Juan Diego Women’s Center. May the Lord bless you richly today and forevermore.