Rev. Clarence J. Hart, O.S.A. (1907-1968)

Rev. Clarence J. Hart, O.S.A. entered eternal life on October 1, 1968.

Clarence James Hart was born on July 19, 1907 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to John and Helen (Crowley) Hart. He was baptized on August 11, 1907 at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, Philadelphia. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation on October 8, 1916 at the same church.

After completing his elementary education at St. Ignatius School, Philadelphia, Clarence studied for one year at West Philadelphia High School. He then transferred to Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, which granted him a high school diploma in 1927.

Clarence was received into the Augustinian Novitiate on September 8, 1927. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 9, 1928 and solemn (permanent) vows on September 9, 1931. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1932. Clarence then pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He was ordained a priest on June 11, 1935. He earned an M.A. in English from Catholic University of America, Washington, in 1936.

When the Augustinian Order appealed for volunteers to teach in the Philippines, Father Hart responded immediately. He was assigned to Colegio de San Agustín, Iliolo, Philippines, where he taught until 1941. He ministered briefly at St. Clare of Montefalco Parish, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, after his return to the United States in 1941.

Father Hart taught at St. Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois, from 1941 to 1945; at Cascia Hall School, Tulsa, Oklahoma, from 1945 to 1947; and at St. Monica Seminary, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, from 1947 to 1949. When the minor seminary program relocated in 1949 from St. Monica to St. Augustine Seminary, Holland, Michigan, he moved and taught there until 1959. He also held the position of Rector of Postulants from 1957 to 1959.

In 1959, Father Hart was named Principal of St. Thomas High School, Rockford, Illinois.  In 1962, he became a teacher at Augustinian Academy, St. Louis, Missouri. He then taught at St. Rita High School, Chicago, in 1963 and 1964. He was named the Director of Vocations for the Province in 1964.

Father Hart began to experience serious health problems and retired from full-time ministry in 1965. He resided for a time at St. Clare of Montefalco Parish, Chicago. Later, he was moved to St. Joseph Home for the Elderly, Palatine, Illinois, where he died on October 1, 1968 of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and bronchopneumonia.

He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.

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