Being present pastorally for his parishioners is one of the top priorities for the newly appointed pastor of St. Andrew by the Bay in Annapolis.
“Being able to minister to people and interact with them is what I love most about the priesthood,” said Father Martin Burnham, a 41-year-old Baltimore native whose appointment by Archbishop Edwin F. O’Brien takes effect immediately.
“The people here are very generous,” he said. “You can see that with the number of programs and ministries that reach out to those in need. You walk in here and you sense how kind and warm the people are in the way they greet strangers.”
A former child-and-family therapist who worked at Johns Hopkins Bayview in Baltimore for six years, Father Burnham said his professional background as a counselor will be an asset in his role as a pastor.
“I use it every day,” said Father Burnham, who has served as temporary administrator of St. Andrew since Aug. 1. “I try to be approachable, and I think people feel comfortable with me, knowing my background.”
Leading a 1,400-family parish with many young families, Father Burnham said he plans to continue a strong focus on youth ministry. The parish is in the process of making improvements to the church, he said, and the pastor will also be involved in examining a master plan for providing additional space for parish activities.
Father Burnham grew up in the Shrine of the Sacred Heart in Mount Washington. He holds a masters degree in psychology from Loyola College in Maryland.
Father Burnham prepared for the priesthood at St. Mary’s Seminary and University in Roland Park, and was ordained in 2002. He is a former associate pastor of St. Louis in Clarksville and St. Margaret in Bel Air.