State's bishops to honor Bishop Emeritus Clark
Bishop Emeritus Matthew H. Clark will receive the John Cardinal O’Connor Award for Extraordinary Service, in honor of his years of commitment to the public-policy agenda of the New York State Catholic Conference, which represents the state’s bishops in matters of public policy.
Bishop Clark also will be recognized for his pastoral service, having served more than 50 years in the priesthood, and his 33 years as Bishop of the Diocese of Rochester.
The award will be presented by Bishop Clark’s close friend, Bishop Howard J. Hubbard of Albany, at the end of the annual Catholics at the Capitol Mass at 1:30 p.m. March 20 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany. Bishop Clark also will deliver the homily at the Mass.
In its announcement of the honor, the Catholic conference cited Bishop Clark’s commitment of expanded participation of the laity, particularly women, in the life of the church. It also cited his promotion of Catholic social teaching, the diocesan expansion of Catholic Charities, and his defense of church positions on matters of human life, including opposition to abortion and capital punishment, and family life, including the traditional understanding of marriage.
A native of Waterford, N.Y., Bishop Clark was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Albany on Dec. 19, 1962. He served as vice chancellor of the Albany Diocese, chairman of the diocesan priest personnel board and spiritual director of the North American College in Rome.
Bishop Clark was installed eighth Bishop of Rochester on June 26, 1979. Upon his 75th birthday on July 15, 2012, he submitted his resignation to Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, and it was accepted Sept. 21, when Bishop Clark became Bishop Emeritus of Rochester.