Grotto Welcomes New Rector


New Servite Leadership

The Grotto’s Fr. Eugene Smith, OSM, (left) and Fr. Don Siple, OSM, to lead Province

Fr. Eugene Smith, OSM, has been elected to the role of Prior Provincial for the Order of Friar Servants of Mary – USA, and has joined the Servite Community of Our Lady of Sorrows in Chicago.

Fr. Don Siple, OSM, Rector of The Grotto since 2017, is joining Fr. Eugene and the Servite community in Chicago. There he will minister to the Province as Assistant Provincial and Master of Formation.

The Grotto congratulates Fr. Eugene and Fr. Don on their new leadership roles.

“I thank Father Eugene and Father Don for helping enrich the spiritual lives of countless thousands of people who have come to The Grotto over the past few years,” said Christopher E. Blanchard, Executive Director of The Grotto. “There is no better place to grow in your faith than at The Grotto, and no better priests to help you grow. I pray they continue their success in their vital leadership roles for the Servite Province.”

Meet The Grotto’s New Rector

Fr. Vidal Martinez, OSM

Fr. Vidal Martinez, OSM

Fr. Vidal was born in 1948 in San Lorenzo, Puerto Rico. In 1962 he entered the Servite Seminary high school in Hillside, Illinois, and made his solemn profession of vows in 1973. He was ordained a priest on May 10, 1975, at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica in Chicago.

Fr. Vidal is an experienced pastor who is fluent in English, Spanish, and French; he has spent most of his priesthood serving in multicultural and multilingual parishes throughout the Servite USA Province. Most recently he has resided at Our Lady of Sorrows Monastery in Chicago where he has served as National Assistant to the Servite Diakonia and the Secular Servites, movements comprised of lay people who seek to share in the spirituality and ministry of the Servite Order.

Fr. Vidal has also assisted parishes in the Archdiocese of Chicago and in the St. Peregrine Ministry for those who speak Spanish. His wealth of pastoral experience, language skills, and love for sharing the Servite charism and spirituality have prepared him well to serve as Rector of The Grotto, The National Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mother, in Portland, Oregon.

Welome Fr. Leo Hambur, OSM

Fr. Leo Hambur, OSM

Fr. Leo Hambur, OSM

Fr. Leo was born in 1988 in the small town of Ruteng on the island of Flores in Indonesia. He entered the Servite postulancy program in his native country, where he completed his pre-novitiate and novitiate formation, making his first profession of temporary vows in 2011.

After finishing his philosophy and pre-theology studies at Saint Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Malang, East Java, Indonesia, he came to the United States in 2013 as part of an inter-jurisdictional formation agreement within the Servite Order. After gaining proficiency in English, he completed his theological studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, graduating with a Master of Divinity degree in 2019.

He made his solemn profession of vows in June of 2017 and was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 2019, at Our Lady of Sorrows Basilica in Chicago. Following ordination Fr. Leo was assigned to Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish in Denver, Colorado, as parochial vicar.

He begins his ministry at The Grotto in August.