Clarence J. Hart, O.S.A.

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1907 – 1968 (October 1)

Clarence James Hart was born on July 19, 1907 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to John Hart and Helen Crowley, and was baptized on August 11, 1907 at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, Philadelphia. After completing his elementary education at St. Ignatius School, he studied for one year at West Philadelphia High School, and then transferred as a postulant, to Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, which granted him a high school diploma in 1927. Clarence was received into the novitiate on September 8, 1927. He professed simple vows on September 9, 1928 and solemn vows on September 9, 1931. He earned a B.A. in Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1932, and pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C. He was ordained to the priesthood on June 11, 1935. He earned an M.A. in English from Catholic University of America, Washington, in 1936.

When the Order appealed for volunteers to teach in the Philippines, Father Hart responded immediately. He was assigned to Colegio de San Agustín, Iliolo, where he taught until 1941. He then ministered briefly at St. Clare of Montefalco Parish, Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan. 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 returned to teach 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 at the age of 61,  of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and bronchopneumonia.

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