CINCINNATI -- The community mourned the loss of Cincinnati priest Father Martin Smith Thursday.
Father Martin Smith was one of just three black priests from Cincinnati, and although he lost his life to cancer, parishoners say his life of service and faith will never be forgotten.
Father Ray Taylor fought back tears as he talked about his friend.
“Are those tears of joy or tears of sadness … tears of joy because our faith tells us we will be meeting each other again,” Taylor said. “So there’s joy, and there’s sadness.”
Taylor worked with Smith, and they both went to St. Joseph Catholic School in the West End.
“This is quite overwhelming for me,” Taylor said. “But at the same time, our faith tells us to hope in resurrection, and Martin was ready for what God had for him.”
Father Martin Smith also worked for several years as the Chief Chaplain at Veterans Affairs Medical Center for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.
Although some were sad at Father Martin Smith’s services, they still sang songs of joy and prayed. Because to them, this is not the end for him; it is only the beginning.
“What I learned from Father Martin is gratefulness, being grateful and faithful to the love of God. The love of God and our lady compels us each day,” Taylor said.
Father Martin Smith's family is starting a scholarship fund in his honor. The scholarship would help students who want to attend St. Joseph Catholic School.