The following article was published in the most recent Priests for Life newsletter. Because it is written by me, I would like to share it with you. During the past week, Fr. Mark and I have been able to get to know each other better by sharing an office. Along with Fr. Giacomo Capoverdi, Fr. Mark has celebrated daily Mass for the past 10 days in the chapel, giving me the rare opportunity to attend daily Mass. Thank you Fr. Mark and Fr. Capoverdi!
Fr. Mark Clarke, CMF joins Priests for Life for full-time ministry
As Priests for Life welcomes Fr. Mark Clarke CMF, we would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to him. Fr. Mark is a Claretian Missionary, and has been ordained a priest for just over two years. Throughout his formation, Fr. Mark was very involved with respect life issues through study as well as ministry, and has a burning desire to continue this ministry for life.
Fr. Mark's Masters Thesis focused on the U.S. bishops' treatment of the abortion issue from 1990 through 2000. He focused not only on abortion in the context of family, health care, justice and peace, and respect for life, but also in relation to euthanasia and capital punishment.
"I view respect life ministry as very comprehensive -- to recognize the inherent dignity of the human person and also the dignity of human sexuality," said Fr. Mark. "The focus of our work is not only on abortion, but also on contraception and how that relates to the whole human person."
His ministry work has led him to forming a student respect life club with students from Providence High School in San Antonio, Texas. The club's motto was "Respect Life, Respect Yourself," and the students were taught the positive and life-giving message of abstinence until marriage and the reality and consequences of the culture of death related to abortion. The students communicated this message to their peers through media, skits, art, and involvement with pro-life activities. Fr. Mark also facilitated a parish respect life program in Long Beach, California.
Of coming to work with Priests for Life, Fr. Mark "is excited and very blessed to have this opportunity… to be with a very established and visible organization." He is looking forward to learning as much as he can about the pro-life movement as well as being able to preach and teach the message of the Gospel of Life. Fr. Mark has desired to work with Priests for Life because he recognizes his call to full-time respect life ministry.
To his fellow priests, Fr. Mark would like to offer the encouragement in preaching the message of life. "Do not be afraid to communicate the truth and beauty of this teaching," said Fr. Mark. "If in doubt, pray for the wisdom…of the Holy Spirit."
Fr. Mark's complete biography is posted here. He will be based in Amarillo, Texas. He is available for speaking engagements by contacting Priests for Life.