Blog - Football and Faith: New Leaders Arrive to Las Cruces
Since January of this year, our community has welcomed two new leaders with very different roles but with similarities in their callings. One has been chosen to lead young men on the football field and rally a community and state behind them. The other has been chosen to be a shepherd for all Catholics in Southern New Mexico. Both leadership and faith are common denominators in their callings.
January saw the announcement of Doug Martin as the new head football coach for New Mexico State University.
Doug Martin Vicki Martin
Coach Martin has been a welcomed addition to the Las Cruces community and our State. He returned after a short stint as Boston College’s Offensive Coordinator. He brings a wealth of head coaching experience having served as Head Coach for Kent State for 7 years. Upon his appointment, he stated:
"I am thrilled for the opportunity and very appreciative that Dr. Boston and the administration have the confidence in me to move this program forward," Martin said. "I think there is unlimited potential in this program and in this city and I look forward to building this football program to be part of the City of Las Cruces."
My wife Amy and I had the pleasure of having dinner with Doug and his terrific wife Vicki. What stood out immediately was Doug’s ease with his role and confidence in what needs to be done to lead NMSU football. While some may look at the downside of leading NMSU football, Doug has what true leaders possess. He focuses on the “unlimited potential” before him. Vicki is a true partner with Doug and an accomplished mother and professional in her own right. They are both strong in their own faith and terrific additions to our community.
February saw the installation of the new Bishop for the Las Cruces Diocese – Most Reverend Oscar Cantú.
Bishop Cantú being greated by Pope Benedict XVI
Although the title of the Diocese is Las Cruces, it actually covers the entire southern portion of New Mexico stretching from its eastern border to its western border. The Diocese has the land mass size to that of the entire state of Pennsylvania.
Upon his appointment, Bishop Cantú stated, “I come to Las Cruces with no particular agenda other than to humbly and joyfully proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” He succeeds former Bishop Ricardo Ramirez who served as Bishop for the past 30 years.
As a seminarian, Bishop Cantú, who is fluent in English, Spanish, Italian and French, worked on a committee with then-Bishop James Tamayo of Laredo to promote Hispanic ministry. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of Dallas and went on to earn his Masters in Divinity and Masters in Theological Studies from the University of St. Thomas in Houston before earning his Licentiate in Sacred Theology and Doctorate of Sacred Theology in Dogmatic Theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
This past week, he was officially declared and appointed Bishop by Pope Benedict XVI. The appointment letter from the Pope was read at the installation mass by the Most Reverend Carlo Maria Vigano - Vatican's Apostolic Nuncio to The United States of America. Bishops from all over the United States came to Las Cruces to participate in the installation including Bishops from Peru and Mexico.
As mentioned before, both of these men assume important leadership roles in the lives of New Mexicans. For Doug Martin, he inherits a team that has not been to a bowl game since the 1960’s and whom critics label the Aggies as hopeless. Where there is hopelessness, let there be inspirational leadership. This is Doug’s calling and one that he takes on willingly and with faith and confidence.
For Bishop Cantú, he inherits a diverse flock of parishioners from all socioeconomic levels across Southern New Mexico. However, there is one common trait - a need for spiritual guidance and inspiration. This is a monumental calling. Bishop Cantú has the training, experience and spiritual strength to lead the Catholic faithful.
There is one other commonality with these two men. They both have remarked at their fondness for the greater Las Cruces community – its people, natural beauty and potential for a brighter future.
Las Cruces is fortunate to have these two new leaders join our community. When the first kick-off occurs this fall, it is my hope that Bishop Cantú will say a prayer for the Aggies and that Doug, his coaches and players, will experience a terrific season.
Welcome Bishop Cantú and Coach Martin!
John L. Hummer - Owner/Broker