Monsignor James T. Clarke

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Monsignor James T. Clarke, 99, pastor emeritus of St. 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 Oct. 17, 1913. His early education was in the Scranton public schools. He attended St. Thomas College, now the University of Scranton. Monsignor Clarke began his studies for the priesthood at St. Bernard's Seminary, Rochester, N.Y., and pursued his theological studies at the North American College, Rome, Italy. He was ordained in the chapel of the North American College on Dec. 8, 1938, by the Most Rev. 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 assistant pastor of St. 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 St. Ignatius Church in Kingston on Dec. 9, 1975, where he remained until his retirement and appointment as pastor emeritus on Sept. 9, 1989. After his retirement, Monsignor assisted the pastors at St. 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 college's 37th commencement convocation, 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 St. 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, N.Y.; 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 also 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 St. Joseph, 1600 Green Ridge St., Dunmore, on Tuesday, April 2, 2013, from 4 to 7 p.m. A Vigil Mass will be celebrated in the chapel of the Villa of St. Joseph at 7, by the Most Rev. James C. Timlin, D.D., bishop emeritus of the Diocese of Scranton. A Pontifical Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by the Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., bishop of Scranton, on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, at 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. Peter, Scranton. Viewing will also take place Wednesday morning from 9 to 10. Interment will be in Cathedral Cemetery, Scranton.

Funeral arrangements are being provided by the Eugene A. Cusick Funeral Home, Scranton.
Published in Scranton Times on Mar. 31, 2013