The University of St. Thomas

Distinguished 2009

Distinguished Alumni (2009)

Retired colonel and army chaplain of 33 years. Founder of St. Paul's Outreach and father of six children.

The two men who claim these titles were honored April 23, 2009 with The Saint Paul Seminary's Distinguished Alumni Award. This year's award honored alumni- one ordained and one lay- who excelled in the area of evangelization.

The Rev. Colonel Martin Fleming was ordained in 1952 after studying at The Saint Paul Seminary. He served a the Basilica of St. Mary and St. Mary's Parish in Shakopee before joining the Army Reserves as a chaplain in 1959 "for one or two years." Those one or two years turned into 33 when Fleming continued to re-enlist every couple of years with the bishop's permission. During his time in the Army, Fleming served in: Alaska, New York, Georgia, Virginia, Germany, and Vietnam. He was also on the cutting edge of the charismatic movement, whether flying Cursillo teams abroad for his soldiers, organizing archdiocesan conferences, or acting as the Catholic representative to national evangelical movements. Now retired, Fleming rents out rooms in his family home on Summit Avenue to recovering alcohol and drug addicts.

Gordon DeMarais graduated with a master of arts in theology from The Saint Paul Seminary School of Divinity in 2003. He has been married for 23 years to his wife Theresa, and has six children. He has devoted his life to evangelistic work. After graduating from the University of St. Thomas in 1981 with a degree in Theology, he worked with high school students at the St. Paul Catholic Youth Center and on the staff of NET Ministries. And in 1985, he founded the Saint Paul's Outreach (SPO). Today, DeMarais is executive director of SPO and a coordinator of the Community of Christ the Redeemer.

Gordon DeMarais '03 and Fr. Martin Fleming '52 share a moment of celebration following their acceptance of the Distinguished Alumni Award.