|Birth: ||Sep. 12, 1929|
St. Louis City
|Death: ||Dec. 8, 2010|
St. Louis City
AMERICAN JESUIT PRIEST and SCRIPTURE SCHOLAR. FR. FRANCIS X. CLEARY, S.J., was a Roman Catholic Jesuit priest at St. Louis University in St. Louis, MO, where he was a noted Scripture scholar, homilist, theological expert, and Professor of Theology at the Jesuit university, founded in 1818.
Fr. Cleary, a native of South St. Louis, was the son of Frank X. Cleary, Sr.(1900-1975), a noted St. Louis trial attorney, and Loretto Cooney Cleary (1903-1974), a homemaker. (He had one younger unmarried sister, MARY (1931-1974), who died at the age of 43 and is interred with her mother and father on the "James Cooney" family lot at Calvary Cemetery in St. Louis).
Throughout his entire life, Fr. Cleary was known for his extensive communications skills and eloquence, as well as his keen Irish sense of humor, which was recalled by many mourners among the large crowd at his memorial Mass on the St. Louis University campus, where he taught for more than 30 years.
Ordained a Jesuit priest on June 11, 1963, Father Cleary served on the faculty of St. Louis University where he was a very popular instructor among college students and members of the St. Louis area clergy, religious and laity alike. He was also a popular guest celebrant and homilist in parishes throughout the Archdiocese, where he also provided noteworthy presentations on Scripture and other important Catholic theological topics that followed the Second Vatican Council of 1961-65.
Fr. Cleary also led many theological discussion groups, directed retreats, delivered lectures, and did extensive personal counseling during his later years throughout the St. Louis area until his health conditions precluded him from doing so.
Frequently consulted by the secular and religious press on many topics as an expert Catholic resource and panelist, he also wrote a regular column for many years for the local Roman Catholic Archdiocesan newspaper, the ST. LOUIS REVIEW.
Fr. Cleary was also a historical consultant on the exorcism that became the basis for the famed William Peter Blatty movie, "The Exorcist," which took place in the St. Louis area under the direction of two Catholic priests approved by the Vatican for the process, both Jesuits.
(Fr. Cleary wrote a major article on the deceased Fr. William Bowdern, S.J., one of the principal exorcists).
An alumnus of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish School, St. Louis University (Jesuit) High School, St. Louis University, the Pontifical Biblical Institute, and the Pontifical Theological Institute in Rome (eventually receiving his Ph.D, S.T.L. and S.T.D. degrees), Fr. Cleary remained active until health issues mandated his retirement to Jesuit Hall at St. Louis University, where he died on Wednesday, Dec. 8, 2010 at age 81. During the last several years of his life, he was largely an invalid although his mind and faculties remained sharp.
On his death, Fr. Cleary willed his body to St. Louis University Medical School, and a Memorial Mass was held in his honor the evening of December 14 at the historic St. Francis Xavier College Church on the St. Louis University campus. Nearly 100 priests, among them fellow Jesuits, diocesan priests and members of other religious orders who were friends and peers of Fr. Cleary, concelebrated the Mass. Personal eulogies were provided by fellow clergy, a longtime family member, and a peer from one of Father Cleary's many discussion groups.
Fr. Cleary will be remembered by many as a popular, erudite, eloquent and colorful spokesman for the Catholicism that reflected the times following the Second Vatican Council--roughly the late 1960's through the 1980's. His was a unique niche in the Jesuit order as well as the Archdiocese that will be difficult to fill, and fondly remembered by many in the St. Louis Catholic community.
Roman Catholic Jesuit Priest, college professor, scripture scholar, writer, lecturer and retreat master.
Note: Jesuit Biblical Scholar, Academic and Preacher who advised on "The Exorcist" story.
Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery (Old)
St. Louis City
Plot: St. Louis University Medical School Plot
Created by: Max S. Kaiser, Jr.
Record added: Dec 14, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 62916883
Rest In Peace, Father Frank!|
Added: Nov. 11, 2012
We proudly remember FR. FRANK CLEARY, S.J., a noted priest-son of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish! May his Priesthood, Faith, and Service be long-remembered!OUR LADY of SORROWSALUMNI ASSN.St. Louis, MO|
O.L.S. ALUMNI ASSN.
Added: Nov. 8, 2011
Entered Society of Jesus: Aug 8, 1950|
Added: Feb. 23, 2011
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