Fr. Clark was born to the late William and Adele (Geppert) Clark in East St. Louis, IL, on January 22, 1929. After his elementary education at St. Elizabeth Parish School, he began his studies for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate and the priesthood in 1942 at St. Henry’s Seminary in Belleville. At the end of a year of novitiate in Godfrey, IL, he pronounced his first religious vows in 1949. His superiors sent him to study philosophy and theology at the Gregorian University in Rome (1949-56). He was ordained to the priesthood in Roviano (Rome), Italy, on July 10, 1955.
In his 63 years as a priest, he served as an administrator, professor, preacher, author and parish pastor. He taught philosophy at Our Lady of the Snows Scholasticate in Pass Christian, MS; Lewis University in Lockport, IL; St. Thomas University in St. Paul, MN; and at St. Joseph’s Theological Institute in Cedara, Republic of South Africa. From 1976-85, he was the Administrator of the Apartment Community of Our Lady of the Snows in Belleville. In 1985-87, he served as President of the Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) in Washington, DC. He was pastor at St. Lawrence Parish in Duluth, MN (1989-91). He returned to Belleville in 1991 to become the Director of the National Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows for six years, during which period he was also Director of the Missionary Association of Mary Immaculate (1993-97). In between other assignments, he was on the staff of retreat houses in Buffalo, MN, and Dickinson, TX. In 2003, he retired from active ministry at St. Henry’s Oblate Residence in Belleville. Poor health took him, in early 2018, to the Dammert Geriatric Center at the Esquiline, Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows.
Fr. Clark was preceded in death by his parents and by his sister, Adele Ashe.
Surviving him are his sister, Mary (Eugene) Kasper of Fort Myers, FL; as well as nieces and nephews, Patty (Jim) Coats and Christine (Tom) Barnocki both of Ft. Myers, F, Kathy (Kevin) Smith of Toledo, OH, Edward (Cathy) Ashe of Collins, OH, and Geraldine (Jim) Bork of Huron, OH. He is also in the prayerful remembrance of his nearly 4000 fellow Oblates of Mary Immaculate in over 60 countries.
In lieu of flowers, donations for the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate would be greatly appreciated.
Visitation: Friends may pay their respects Wednesday, December 5, 2018 from 10 a.m. until 11 a.m., at the Shrine Church of Our Lady of the Snows, Belleville, IL.
Funeral: The Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Shrine Church, with Fr. Clark’s long-time friend, Archbishop Roger Schwietz, OMI, archbishop-emeritus of Anchorage, AK, presiding at the concelebrated Mass.
Burial will be at St. Henry’s Oblate Cemetery in Belleville, IL.