Monsignor James T. Clarke, 99, Pastor Emeritus of Saint Ignatius Church, Kingston, and a resident at St. Therese Residence, died Friday, March 29, 2013 at Wilkes-Barre General Hospital.
Monsignor Clarke, son of the late Thomas and Nora Nealon Clarke was born in Scranton on October 17, 1913. His early education was in the Scranton Public Schools. He attended Saint Thomas College, now the University of Scranton. Monsignor Clarke began his studies for the priesthood at Saint Bernard's Seminary, Rochester, New York and pursued his theological studies at the North American College, Rome, Italy. He was ordained in the chapel of the North American College on December 8, 1938 by the Most Reverend Ralph Hayes, D.D. In 1939, Monsignor was awarded a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
Monsignor Clarke's first assignment was as an Assistant Pastor of Saint Patrick's, Scranton. He later served as an assistant pastor at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Hazleton where he was appointed as Administrator on May 10, 1944. While serving as an Assistant Pastor at Holy Rosary Church in Wilkes-Barre, he also taught Religion and Philosophy at College Misericordia. Monsignor Clarke was named Chaplain for College Misericordia and the Provincial House of the Sisters of Mercy in Dallas. He was elevated to the rank of Professor; was appointed to the President's Council; and became a member of the Board of Trustees of College Misericordia. Monsignor Clarke was appointed Pastor of Saint Ignatius Church in Kingston on December 9, 1975 where he remained until his retirement and appointment as Pastor Emeritus on September 9, 1989. After his retirement Monsignor assisted the Pastors at Saint Rita's Parish in Gouldsboro by celebrating weekend mass continuing until his 85th birthday.
Monsignor Clarke was named a Domestic Prelate on June 3, 1960 with the title of Right Reverend Monsignor. The President and Professors of College Misericordia on the occasion of the 37th Commencement Convocation of College Misericordia conferred upon Monsignor Clarke the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, Honoris causa.
Monsignor Clarke served as an Assistant Editor of The Catholic Light. He was a member of the Board of Examiners, Junior Clergy, and was appointed to the Commission of Discipline at Saint Pius X Seminary, Dalton and served as the Director of Vocations. He was also appointed Censor Librorum for the Diocese in 1961. Monsignor Clarke served as Pro-Synodal Examiner. He was appointed to the Diocesan College of Consultors and was Chairman for Region XI of FOLLOW CHRIST Program. Monsignor served as a Promoter of Justice in the Diocesan Tribunal. He was appointed Dean of the Luzerne West Deanery in 1975, and Dean of the Kingston Deanery from January, 1986 to January, 1989
He is survived by a sister, Norah J. Tierney, Rochester, NY and five nieces; Norah Howland, Ann Marie Housel, Eileen Stark, Dr. Mary Tierney and Kathleen Arnold and two nephews; Charles Tierney and James Tierney. He was preceded in death by three sisters, Mary Lucille, Verna O'Donnell and Sister M. Nora Clarke, I.H.M.
Viewing will take place at Villa Saint Joseph, 1600 Green Ridge Street, Dunmore on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. A Vigil Mass will be celebrated in the chapel of the Villa of Saint Joseph at 7:00 p.m., with the Most Reverend James C. Timlin, D.D. Bishop Emeritus.
A Pontifical Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton, on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at the Cathedral of Saint Peter, Scranton.Viewing will also take place Wednesday morning from 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Interment will be in Cathedral Cemetery, Scranton.
Funeral arrangements are being provided by the Eugene A. Cusick Funeral Home, Scranton.