Take me back to the Oral History landing page.


Martin Woulfe - People of Faith

Martin Woulfe was born and raised a Catholic, and attended Catholic schools, but by the conclusion of college in 1982 his religious views had evolved. After some tough financial and emotional challenges, he began the Meadville/Lombard Theological School in 1988 to become a Unitarian Universalist minister. Martin still faced significant challenges over the next several years, graduated from the seminary in June 1998, and was ordained in April 2003 by UUCC-Park Forest as his interim there was nearing completion. He has served as a congregational minister since 2001, most of that time at the Abraham Lincoln Unitarian-Universalist Church in Springfield, Illinois.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Bordering On Heresy

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Early years in suburban south Chicago through college graduation

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Post college career, decision to attend seminary and U-U principles

Interview Session 03 (Audio)

Experiences at seminary, internship and setbacks and Maryville Academy

Interview Session 04 (Audio)

Photos

Caption

Martin got to play Santa Claus in December, 1966 while attending kindergarten at the Dutch Reformed kindergarten in South Holland.

Where:

South Holland, IL

When:

1966

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Martin is in black, and Brian sports a bow tie in this photo of the Woulfe children before Easter services, circa 1970 on the front steps of their South Holland home. Colleen, Neil and Molly are in front.

Where:

South Holland, IL

When:

1970

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Tenderfoot Martin with his big brother, Brian, in 1972 in South Holland. The boys were members of Troop 427. Brian eventually became an Eagle Scout, with a certificate signed by Richard M. Nixon.

Where:

South Holland, IL

When:

1972

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

The Woulfe family is outside St. Jude’s Apostle Church in South Holland in May 1974. Martin is in center next to mother Nancy. Brian is in back, holding Danny. Molly is in front, and behind her, are Neil, John-John and Colleen. Katie is in front.

Where:

South Holland, IL

When:

1974

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Martin during his Loras College days in 1979. He later headed to Ireland for a year, with a memorable trip to France while overseas.

Where:

Loras College, IA

When:

1979

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Martin’s grandparents, John and Celeste Woulfe, helped him celebrate his graduation from Loras College in May, 1982.

Where:

Loras College, IA

When:

1982

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Martin’s Clinical Pastoral Education class with their supervisors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago circa August, 1991. Martin is kneeling, front and center.

Where:

Chicago, IL

When:

1991

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Martin Woulfe with Angela Anzarte in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago, circa 1997-98. Angela was amused by Martin’s hobby as a Civil War reenactor.

Where:

Chicago, IL

When:

1997-1998

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Martin received a Masters of Divinity degree from Meadville/Lombard Theological School outside the First Unitarian Church in Chicago in May, 1998. Martin is with his parents, Nancy and John.

Where:

Chicago, IL

When:

1998

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Martin’s ordination as a U-U minister in April, 2001. Martin in the center, with his parents to his left, siblings, an aunt, and wife Angela and Celeste on the right. The day marked the culmination of a long journey for Martin.

Where:

Unknown

When:

2001

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Martin scripted an interfaith worship service, which was part of a series of events celebrating the dedication of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in April, 2005. He was the main speaker, and other members of his congregation were also involved.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

2005

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Martin and members of his congregation participated in Springfield’s annual State Fair parade in August, 2008. The cause that year was recycling. The replica of the capitol is made from recycled bottles.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

2008

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Reverend Martin Woulfe presided over a member’s wedding in 2009 held at Lake Springfield.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

2009

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Martin and daughter Celeste at a 114th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment flag retreat at Lincoln’s Tomb in Springfield, circa 2010. The unit conducts the ceremony every Tuesday evening during the summer.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

2010

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Reverend Martin Woulfe, when he served as the minister at the Abraham Lincoln Unitarian Universalist Church in Springfield, Illinois congregation in 2013.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

2013

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Martin spoke at a ‘March on Springfield for Marriage Equality’ event in Springfield, Illinois on October 22, 2013.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

2013

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Martin was the victim for an Ice Bucket Challenge in Springfield in 2014. As a result, he helped raise about $200 for a local ALS charity.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

2014

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Martin Woulfe presided over a ‘Let Freedom Ring’ event in Springfield’s Old State Capitol on April 9 2015, the 150th anniversary of Lee's surrender.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

2015

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Frontier Club members gathered for a group photo during the club’s annual Martin Luther King breakfast, which was held at Springfield’s Windham Hotel in January, 2016.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

2016

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Martin represented the Faith Coalition for the Common Good in the spring of 2016 during a march in Springfield protesting Illinois’s budgetary crisis. The state went for years without passing a budget.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

2016

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Martin was one of two faith leaders who spoke at a ceremony held at Springfield’s Phoenix Center in the aftermath of the Pulse Night Club massacre in June, 2016.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

2016

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

The members of the Greater Springfield Interfaith Association held their fall banquet in October, 2016. Sister Linda Hayes received the Humanitarian of the Year award from the Faith Coalition for the Common Good.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

2016

Ownership:

Narrator's Photo

Caption

Martin received his 3rd Degree Master Mason degree in a ceremony at the Springfield Masonic Hall. Said Martin, it was the first integrated 3rd Degree Masonic ceremony in Springfield.

Where:

Springfield, IL

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

[



Social Links