SPEAKERS AT THE WAKE SERVICEDavid Wright, O.P., Prior of St. Pius
The first time I met Pat was as a freshman in college. I was a freshman at Loras College, in Dubuque Iowa. And he was my superior there for two years before I entered the Novitiate. There are many stories to be told about those two years, but one strikes me particularly. It was the night before Christmas vacation began in my sophomore year. You were always allowed to go home after the last class on Friday. And this was Thursday evening and the two priests who worked with Pat had gone over to St. Rose Priory for the evening, and word had gone out that Clancy had gone to Chicago early. And as might happen in a college dorm, there was a bit of a ruckus. I can remember water being thrown and people running up and down the corridors shouting things. The next morning we gathered for prayer and, to our amazement, Pat walked into the chapel and he said, "Gentlemen, I want to see each one of you individually, about last night." He had delayed his departure. And so he interviewed each and every one of us and was able to quote everything that had been said in the corridor because he was lying in bed. He had gone to bed early that night. And after interviewing all of us, he then informed us that when we came back after vacation an appropriate punishment will be determined. And so we went home.
But, Pat came into Chicago and began to tell his Dominican brothers here about the events, and each time he told it, the story got better. By the time he returned after vacation, he had forgotten about the punishment. He was not only . . .you knew where the lines was drawn when Pat was your superior, but he was also a generous, kind man.
The second story jumps ahead quite a number of years when I was newly ordained and in graduate school and I had a research project that took me to Rome. At the time Pat was serving as assistant to the Master of the Order, and so I was one of his Smyth Hall boys from Loras College who had actually made it into the Order, and there I was coming to Rome. He arranged for me to have a room at what we call the "Angelicum" and I stayed there for a week doing some research work. What I didn't realize that he wasn't sure that I would like the room there, so he had also arranged for a room at Santa Sabina, the international headquarters, depending on where I might like to stay. And he was a very kind and gentle assistant to the Master, at least in my behalf. So I remember him fondly, and there are many other stories to be told too, but I think maybe someone else should have an opportunity.
Kevin Fane, O.P.
I knew Pat Clancy when I was young, at Loras College, and I knew him later when both of us were older at St. Pius. When I was at Loras I had him as a teacher for a course in philosophy. He had an interesting methodology in the course that he taught us. We would come to a chapter in the book and he would say to us, "This chapter presupposes too much philosophy, and you don't know philosophy well enough to learn this chapter, so we'll skip it." And then he would go through each page of that chapter, and explain on each page why we didn't have enough philosophy to understand it. By the time he did all that, there was not enough time left in the class to go on to the chapter that he was going to treat. And so each time we'd come together we'd go through the chapter he wasn't going to treat, an we never had the time to get around to the chapters he was going to cover in class. ... But he said something very memorable at that time and I always have remembered this and I reminded him of it years later when we were at St. Pius. One day he was either mad at us or mad at the administration of Loras College about something, and he came to class and said, "Loras College is a barnacle on the ass of progress."
And years later as we lived together at St. Pius, I remember him very fondly for the very proactive way he took to life when he was beginning to have declining health. One of the things he did because of his macular degeneration -- loss of eyesight -- one of the things he did is he learned by memory Eucharistic Prayer II, so that he would be able to preside at Mass and celebrate mass. The other thing that he did which was so proactive about his ageing is that he was no longer able to read, and he would order books by tape from the Chicago Public Library, and he would listen to those. And quite frequently in good weather he would go outside St. Pius Priory with his cane and he would sit on the stoop, and he would sit there in sunlight in the breeze of the day, and he would watch traffic go by and watch the people go by, even though he probably only saw forms by that time. And one day he came into the priory, he was very excited because while he was sitting on the stoop somebody came by and asked if he could go to confession to him. And so toward.....all through his life, and toward the end of his life, he was very much concerned about being active in ministry. And I understand that when he went to the nursing home in which he spent his time, days and years...he was very active in presiding at Mass for the residents in the nursing home. So I really admired him, in his latter years, how proactive he was in trying to be engaged in life...
A Layman, His Dentist: My name is Louis Lozlow? . Ninety-nine and forty four one-hundredth percent of you don't know who I am. But that is not important, ..... I have to tell you that Fr. Clancy has earned the title, he is now known as St. Patrick Clancy. He just joint two other illustrious Dominicans of the Province of St. Albert, Fr. David Stazak, and Fr. Bruno Kowalkowski. This is quite an illustrious threesome.
I have to be partly responsible for the success...Fr. Patrick . . . .I have to explain something before you understand this.... for the past 30 years I have had the privilege of tending to Fr. Clancy's needs, dental needs, and ......to Fr. Bruno and Fr. Dave.... I have to feel partly responsible for Fr. Clancy's success, because must to confess that anyone who sits in my dental chair, and sees me approaching with a drill, would grow to have the fear of God in their hearts. And so Fr. Clancy though he was a very holy man, I felt was a little bit like Jesus in the garden.... he sweat blood.
. . . . . . . .
I'd like you to picture this. Here is Fr. [Clancy] the senior member of this threesome, living in heaven. On one side is Fr. David, on the other side is Fr. Bruno. Now Fr. David keeps telling Fr. Clancy, that there's no greater ...... than the Green Bay Packers' football team. Fr Bruno, on the other hand says hey Fr. Clancy, the Bears are going to win the Super Bowl in 2002. What a situation. I have to believe that although Fr. Patrick was in heaven, he had to believe that he was in Purgatory.
More serious though. I think of no word that can describe Fr. Pat. He was certainly a preacher, but he was much more than that. He was a kind, caring, dedicated man. Compassionate, caring, understanding, and really certainly a holy man. He was a staunch defender of the Holy See, and the Catholic Faith. He did not hesitate to express his dissatisfaction with several of the things that were introduced into the Liturgy following Vatican Council II..
And so we bid farewell to Fr. Pat. We thank God for the opportunity to know this man. He will be sorely missed by his family, his fellow brothers of the Order of Preachers, he will certainly be missed my me and my family, I think he will be missed by everyone who ever had contact with him. Our hope is that having successfully completed his journey, that he will remember us as we continue in this valley of tears. I [offer] my deepest condolences to the family, to the brothers of the Order of Preachers, and to all. May his soul rest in peace in the presence of the Holy Trinity and the Blessed Mother of God.
A religious woman: Just a short follow-up to what Fr. Fane said. The last time I saw Fr. Pat sitting out there on that wall, on his stool, he said, "I have a brand new ministry. I am a confessor to so many of the kids and the young men of the gangs who would probably not go into church. They confess, and it's a great ministry."