Biographies

Brother Patrick Clerkin, MM

Born: July 20, 1886
Oath: September 11, 1930
Died: October 5, 1977

Brother Patrick Clerkin, who had been the oldest Maryknoller since the death on March 1, 1976 of Father John F. Swift, died at midday today, October 5, at Phelps Memorial Hospital in North Tarrytown.

Patrick Clerkin was born in Ireland on July 20, 1886 and attended National Schools there until age 13. Migrating to the United States, he was a World War I veteran and was nationalized as a U.S. citizen in 1918. He joined Maryknoll in July 1923, and took his Perpetual Oath as a Maryknoll Brother, with the religious name “Brother Patrick”, on September 11, 1930. He served in the Japanese Mission in Los Angeles in 1924, at the Seattle Procure from 1924-30, again in Los Angeles from 1930-32, attended the Eucharistic Congress in Ireland and visited Lourdes in mid-1932, at the Center from 1932 – 1945, at the Bedford Novitiate from 1945- 1964, at Hingham from 1964 – 1972, and a resident of St. Teresa’s from 1972 until the time of his death.

During close to 50 years of service to Maryknoll, Brother Patrick worked as a maintenance man, in plumbing and heating systems of the houses where he served. James Anthony Walsh complimented him on his “generous and intelligent service” in 1929; and in reports this past decade he was referred to as “faithfulness itself” and as a “fine, prayerful, saintly old person.” In the recent years of retirement, he waited patiently to go home to God.

A Vigil Service was held for Brother Patrick at 8:30 p.m. Thursday, October 6, at the Maryknoll Seminary Chapel. Mass of the Resurrection was concelebrated at 11:45 a.m. on Friday, October 7, at the Seminary Chapel, with Brother Gregory Grant as the homilist. Burial followed in the Maryknoll Cemetery.