Community celebrates life of Bishop Matthew Clark

ROCHESTER, N.Y. – Sunday night the Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester remembered one of its own, as they prepare to say their final goodbyes to Bishop Emeritus Matthew Clark. An Evening Prayer Service was held in his honor at Sacred Heart Cathedral.

The service was a chance for the public to pay their last respects to Bishop Clark who died exactly one week ago at the age of 85, after his health was in decline.

“We know that God has him, and he is in eternal life, and we’re very happy about that for him,” said Brighton resident Ann Shanahan.

More than 150 Catholic parishioners attended Sunday night’s Evening Prayer Service for Bishop Matthew Clark. He was the youngest American Catholic Bishop ever when he was consecrated back in 1979. Many in attendance knew him for many decades.

“We loved him, the whole community here in Rochester loved him. He was just kind and passionate, and we just miss him. We’ll miss him terribly,” said Shanahan.

Bishop Salvatore Matano, and Father Joseph Hart both delivered homilies, and a eulogy for Bishop Clark. The congregation sang songs, and reflected on the life of the Eight Bishop of The Diocese of Rochester. Deacon Ed Knauf said Clark was a gentle loving man. 

“He had a wonderful ability to relate one-on-one with the people, and I think that, Bishop Matano has that as well, but with Bishop Clark it was a real blessing to people, I think that why he was so beloved by the people of the diocese,” said Knauf.

Shanahan added, “He was with us in my life especially under some difficult circumstances. He was there, such wonderful support to us with all our family. We have lots of children that were confirmed by him.”

“He was a member of the people. He knew people very well, and engaging, and intelligent, and very, very kind,” said Rochester resident Margaret Joynt.

For others attending the prayer service was their way of saying thanks Bishop Clark.

“I’ve been a part of the Catholic Church for many years here in the Diocese of Rochester, and Bishop Clark was very special to us in our communities. A lot of my years in the church have been within the Hispanic community, and he was so special to us as well,” said Rochester resident Elizabeth Johnston.

Monday at noon, the Mass of Christian Burial will take place at Sacred Heart Cathedral. The Mass will be led by his Eminence Cardinal Timothy Dolan. We will be there as well, and have full coverage starting on News10NBC at Noon.