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Loyola says goodbye to Fr. Tom Clancy, S.J.

Loyola press release - April 17, 2009

The Rev. Thomas Clancy, S.J., a crucial figure in the history of Loyola University New Orleans, passed away on April 13 at the age of 85.

Clancy received a bachelor of arts degree in 1948 from Spring Hill College in Mobile, Ala. In 1955, he was ordained a priest after studying at St. Charles College in Grand Coteau, La., Spring Hill College and the University of Louvain in Belgium. Clancy also received a master’s degree from Fordham University and a doctorate from the University of London in political science.

Clancy joined the Loyola faculty in 1960, where he taught political science for 10 years and served as chair of the Department of History and Political Science from 1966 to 1969. From 1968 to 1970, he served as academic vice president. He was editor of the Jesuit magazine, America, from 1970 to 1971. In 1971, he was named Provincial Superior of the New Orleans Province of the Society of Jesus, covering 10 states in the South and Southwest.

In 1978, he was vice president for communications at Loyola, responsible for the operations of WWL radio and WWL-TV, which was housed on the campus until it was sold in 1989. He then served as director of the Jesuit Seminary and Mission Bureau from 1989 to 2000.

Clancy was instrumental in moving the Jesuit archives from Grand Coteau in the mid 80s to Loyola’s campus. Former Loyola Public Affairs director, Joan Gaulene, A’58, worked with Clancy for many years.

“I knew him for so long at Loyola and was delighted when I retired that he asked me to work for him in the Jesuit archives,” said Gaulene, who is the assistant to the Provincial archivist. “Although he has been gone from Loyola for quite some time, I still feel the loss. He had a great personality and was very outgoing, friendly and brilliant.”

Clancy was a prolific writer, penning numerous articles over the years and authoring the books, “An Introduction to Jesuit Life,” “Conversational Word of God” and “A Literary History of the English Jesuits: A Century of Books, 1615-1714.”

Visitation for Clancy will be held from 9 -11 a.m. on Monday, April 20, at Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church. A funeral mass will follow at 11 a.m.

Clancy is survived by a brother and sister-in-law. In recognition of Clancy’s ministry, and to prepare young Jesuits and to care for elder Jesuits, donations may be sent to “The Jesuits,” 710 Baronne St., Ste. B, New Orleans, LA 70113. Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements. To view and sign the guest book, please visit www.lakelawnmetairie.com.