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Father Martin began his road to recovery in 1958 at The Guest House, which was founded and operated by Austin Ripley. While, drinking himself, Austin Ripley came across a copy of the Saturday Evening Post and discovered an article featuring Alcoholics Anonymous. The article described how this new five year old organization, was having success helping alcoholics get and stay sober. It also talked about their “Big Book”
which had only been in print for 1 year. As a result of this article, Austin Ripley began his journey of recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous.
During a year's period of time, Austin Ripley spent as much time as he could with the founders of A. A.; Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith. He gained valuable knowledge and information about them and the program they founded.
Father Martin met Austin Ripley on the first day of his stay at The Guest House. He also was introduced to a Dr. Walter Green, himself a recovering alcoholic. Dr. Green was the first to talk about the intellect and the emotion and how drugs and alcohol cause the emotions to over-rule the intellect.
Father deeply admired Austin Ripley and was so impressed with Dr. Green's lectures, that he saved his notes and 14 years later would use them to give his famous “Chalk Talks”. These lectures have been heard by hundreds of thousands of people around the world. Father has always given credit to both men for teaching him everything he knows about Alcoholism.
There have been many advances in the field of alcoholism and drug addictions. However, there is one thing that has remained the same and that is the original message of Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob Smith given to Father Martin from Austin Ripley.
Today, the disease of addiction should be treated with a multi-faceted approach. One of these approaches should always be the “Truth” which gives the alcoholic and addict hope. This is the message that Father Martin delivers in his recovery materials.
Father Martin's Accomplishments
Worked as a lecturer and educator in the Division of Alcoholism Control for the State of Maryland.
Worked as a free lance consultant on alcoholism since the fall of 1973.
Graduated of Rutgers Summer School of Alcohol Studies, 1971
Lectured and provided consultancy services for the Army, Navy and Air Force throughout the United States and abroad.
Participated as faculty member and guest lecturer at many Institutes of Alcohol Studies.
Lectured for State Government alcohol programs and for various rehabilitation centers in all 50 states.
Made the film “Chalk Talk on Alcohol” for the US Navy in February 1972. It has become the principal educational vehicle on alcoholism for most branches of the Federal Government, especially the armed services, and is also used in industry, as well as medical facilities, hospitals, rehabilitation centers, and state alcohol programs. He has made many other films, tapes, CDs and DVDs on various aspects of the disease and recovery from it. He is the author of a several publications including “No Laughing Matter” published by Harper & Row in 1982.
Recipient of Andrew White Medal 1986 from Loyola College, Baltimore, given annually to men and women of Maryland who have contributed to the general welfare of the Citizenry of the State.
Recipient of the 1988 Rutgers Summer School of Alcohol Studies Distinguished Service Award.
Participated in the International Conference on Drugs and Alcohol sponsored by the Vatican in 1991.
Recipient of the Norman Vincent Peale Award in 1992.
In 1972 Father Martin and Mrs. Mae Abraham started Kelly Productions, Inc., a teaching tape ministry dedicated to educating the chemically addicted and their families. There are currently over 40 titles available on a wide range of recovery issues in book, tape, and CD format making Father Martins material affordable and available worldwide.
In 1983 Father Martin and Mrs. Mae Abraham founded Father Martin’s Ashley, a non-profit center dedicated to the treatment of the chemically addicted, located in Havre de Grace, Maryland.