Safe pair of hands for del­i­cate role

Lennox Herald - - INTIMATIONS -

Right Rev Mon­signor James Clancy Born: Belfast, March 3, 1943 Died: Glas­gow, Novem­ber 6, 2017 Mon­signor James Clancy, who has died aged 74, was the per­son cho­sen to take short-term charge of the Arch­dio­cese of Glas­gow, the largest Ro­man Catholic dio­cese in Scot­land, fol­low­ing the sud­den death of Car­di­nal Thomas Win­ning in 2001.

Mild-man­nered, self-ef­fac­ing and re­mark­ably quiet in the way he went about his priestly life for 50 years, Mon­signor Clancy be­gan his priest­hood in 1967 as a lec­turer on the staff of St Mary’s Col­lege, the sem­i­nary for train­ing Scot­tish priests, at Blairs in Aberdeen.

On his ap­point­ment as dioce­san ad­min­is­tra­tor Mgr Clancy, a pop­u­lar priest who was widely per­ceived as a safe pair of hands, out­lined his pri­or­i­ties: “We must keep the arch­dio­cese run­ning as smoothly as pos­si­ble un­til the Holy Fa­ther ap­points a suc­ces­sor.

“I know I can count on the sup­port of all the staff to en­sure the arch­dio­cese con­tin­ues to func­tion well. I would ask for pray­ers that the Holy Fa­ther will give us a strong and coura­geous new bishop, like the car­di­nal, to lead us in faith in the years ahead.”

Mgr Clancy be­came rec­tor of the Scots Col­lege in Rome from 1981 un­til 1986. Pre­vi­ously he had been an as­sis­tant priest in St Andrew’s, Bears­den. He also took on the role of con­fes­sor to the nuns at the Carmelite Monastery of the Holy Ghost in Kirk­ton­hill, Dum­bar­ton.

A ma­jor event of his ten­ure in Rome was the pas­toral visit of Pope St John Paul II to Scot­land in the sum­mer of 1982, the first trip of its kind.

Two years later the Bishop of Rome vis­ited the col­lege on the Via Cas­sia to mark the 20th an­niver­sary of the open­ing of the new col­lege build­ing.

His time at the col­lege be­gan at the start of the new aca­demic year in 1981. One of the new in­take of stu­dents that year was the cur­rent spir­i­tual di­rec­tor of the col­lege, Fa­ther Mark Cas­sidy.

Fa­ther Cas­sidy re­mem­bers his first rec­tor as “a good priest with a fruit­ful min­istry, which in­cluded the five years he guided us in our for­ma­tion in this col­lege.

Mgr Clancy re­turned to Glas­gow in 1986. He was ap­pointed as­sis­tant priest in St Ninian’s in Knightswood and vicar gen­eral of the arch­dio­cese.

His ded­i­ca­tion to his pas­toral du­ties is un­der­scored by the fact that while at Knightswood Mgr Clancy took on the ad­di­tional bur­den of chap­lain to Gart­navel Hos­pi­tal.

He also served at St Kes­sog’s in Bal­loch and St Joseph’s in Fai­fley, Cly­de­bank.

In 1999 Mgr Clancy was el­e­vated to be­come a Pre­late of Hon­our (an honorary bishop) and two years later he took charge as par­ish priest of St Andrew’s Cathe­dral in Clyde Street.

In 2004 he moved from the cathe­dral par­ish to St Paul’s, Whiteinch, and then fi­nally as par­ish priest to St Michael’s, Dum­bar­ton, the home par­ish of his par­ents, where he re­tired in 2014.

Lat­terly Mon­signor Clancy had been res­i­dent with the Lit­tle Sis­ters of the Poor in Ro­broys­ton, Glas­gow. He had been suf­fer­ing from Parkin­son’s dis­ease, ex­ac­er­bated by a stroke.

He per­se­vered bravely and de­ter­minedly with his ill­ness for a num­ber of years and died on the morn­ing of Novem­ber 6 in Glas­gow Royal In­fir­mary.

Mgr Clancy was born in Belfast dur­ing the Sec­ond World War to Thomas Clancy and his wife Brid­get, who was known as Delia.

The fam­ily moved to Lon­don, where he was ed­u­cated at West­min­ster Cathe­dral Pri­mary then St Col­man’s and St Teresa’s, Belfast.

He at­tended St Aloy­sius’ Col­lege, Glas­gow, for two years un­til 1956, when he went to Blairs. He com­pleted his priestly for­ma­tion at the Scots Col­lege in Rome, where he was or­dained in 1967 by Bishop Gio­vanni Canestri.

Mgr Clancy is sur­vived by his broth­ers Kevin and Thomas, both re­tired school teach­ers, sis­ters-in-law Clare and Pa­tri­cia, his neph­ews, Kevin John, David and Martin and niece Frances.

Arch­bishop Tartaglia was prin­ci­pal cel­e­brant at the fu­neral Mass on Mon­day, Novem­ber 13, be­fore fi­nal com­mit­tal in a fam­ily plot at Dum­bar­ton Ceme­tery.

Bill Heaney

Ded­i­cated James Clancy

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