Skip to main content

Catholic priest was once Mormon

By Matt Abbott
Catholic Online

Joan Solms is a parishioner of Holy Angels Catholic Church ( in Aurora, Ill. The following is an edited letter she sent me regarding the parish and its pastor, the Rev. Martin G. Heinz.

“Father Martin Heinz is one of eight children, born and raised Catholic. As a young man, he left the Church and joined the Mormons. I believe he stayed in the LDS church for only two or three years. He reverted back to Catholicism and entered the seminary.

“He has been ordained about 12 years now. Upon ordination, he was put in charge of seminarians, and after that, was made pastor of Holy Angels Church. Holy Angels has gone through different phases of growth since it was first built. The permanent design for the church was changed (modernized) about 20 years ago. It was redesigned to be a church in a semi-circle.

“When Father Heinz came to Holy Angels, he decided to restore it to its original design, minus the altar railing, which is not allowed. Father Heinz has replaced the altar railing with three extra-long kneelers. The priest stands behind the kneelers when distributing Communion. On receiving Communion, you can stand or kneel. All our priests distribute Communion at every Mass. At first people were reluctant to kneel for Communion. I wasn't. Now more and more people take Communion kneeling.

“Father Heinz did not rehire five teachers this year because they were not teaching [authentic] Catholicism. The principal agreed with him.

“Father Heinz is very pro-life. He is the support behind our pro-life group. Aurora has one abortuary; it is the only one in our diocese. Father Heinz pays the rent for the [pro-life] counseling center across the street from the abortuary. And business at the abortuary has declined. The former abortionist use to routinely do 500 abortions a year; this year, it’s less than half that number.

“Father Heinz incorporates bits of Latin into the Mass, especially at Easter and Christmas. We say the prayer to St. Michael at the end of every Mass. We have one day of perpetual Eucharistic adoration per week, beginning on Wednesday morning and ending with benediction on Thursday morning. Father would eventually like have perpetual adoration -- seven days a week.

“Father Heinz is truly trying to restore the Sacrament of Confession. It is always available. He has special confessions available before special holy days. He will bring in multiple priests to hear confession.

“The school children are taken to Mass once a week. They get solid Catholic instruction. They wear uniforms. The unfortunate news is that many parents are not deeply committed to Catholicism yet. This is apparent when you see them at Mass, especially the CCD students and parents. Not Father’s fault, though.

“Father Heinz is committed to the poor. We have a very active St. Vincent de Paul group. Each year in September, the St. Vincent de Paul resale shop parks a truck in our parking lot to collect used items for the store. This year we filled two trucks with material goods. In November, we will have a coat collection for the poor. We have a food pantry. Speakers from missions abroad are brought in to speak and collect funds for their churches. We have a baby shower each year for mothers.

“Father Heinz took the old Stations of the Cross and had them mounted; and he put up outdoor Stations of the Cross, which leads up to our shrine of Fatima. We have a monument to the unborn, donated by our Knights of Columbus chapter. Once a year, Father has a prayer service at the monument.

“On Tuesday evenings, we have a rosary service; all 20 mysteries are said.

“We have a program for senior citizens. We provide rides for those who do not have transportation to Mass. Lay ministers still take Communion to the homebound.

“We have four or five men from our parish who are studying for the priesthood; that’s a record these days.”

To see how Mormonism differs from the Catholic Church, go to:

(Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic journalist and commentator. He is a columnist for and/or contributor to Catholic Online,,,,, and He is also an occasional contributor to "The Wanderer" Catholic newspaper. He can be reached at


Matt Abbott  IL, US
Matt Abbott - Author, 



Catholic, Abbott

Rate This Article

Very Helpful Somewhat Helpful Not Helpful at All

Yes, I am Interested No, I am not Interested

Rate Article

1 - 1 of 1 Comments

  1. anon
    4 years ago

    Why does it say that altar rails are not allowed. Where is the document that says so? I'm almost certain that the Catholic Church never even recommended they be removed. I am however, glad to hear about the kneelers.

Leave a Comment

Comments submitted must be civil, remain on-topic and not violate any laws including copyright. We reserve the right to delete any comments which are abusive, inappropriate or not constructive to the discussion.

Though we invite robust discussion, we reserve the right to not publish any comment which denigrates the human person, undermines marriage and the family, or advocates for positions which openly oppose the teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is a supervised forum and the Editors of Catholic Online retain the right to direct it.

We also reserve the right to block any commenter for repeated violations. Your email address is required to post, but it will not be published on the site.

We ask that you NOT post your comment more than once. Catholic Online is growing and our ability to review all comments sometimes results in a delay in their publication.

Send me important information from Catholic Online and it's partners. See Sample

Post Comment

Newsletter Sign Up

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jonah 3:1-10
The word of Yahweh was addressed to Jonah a second time. 'Up!' ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 130:1-2, 3-4, 7-8
[Song of Ascents] From the depths I call to you, Yahweh: Lord, ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 10:38-42
In the course of their journey he came to a village, and a ... Read More

Saint of the Day

October 6 Saint of the Day

St. Bruno
October 6: Bruno was born in Cologne of the prominent Hartenfaust family. ... Read More