Michael Clark Ordained a Transitional Deacon

STAMFORD—On February 2, Bishop Frank J. Caggiano ordained Mr. Michael James Vian Clark as a deacon for the Diocese of Bridgeport at St. Gabriel Parish in Stamford, 11 am, on the Feast of the Presentation of the Lord.

Clark was born in Chichester, England on May 5, 1983 to Timothy and Lesley Clark, who are both parishioners at St. Mary’s Abbey, Buckfast, Buckfastleigh, UK. He attended Exeter Cathedral School in Exeter, UK from which he graduated in 1996. Clark then attended Devonport High School for Boys in Plymouth, UK from which he graduated in 2001.

He studied at Cambridge University, graduating with a master’s in theology and law in 2005. He studied for and was called to the bar in 2008 and practiced law as a barrister for five years. At the same time he was singing professionally at Exeter Cathedral and later moved to Buckfast Abbey as director of music, establishing a new professional choir of men and women from scratch.

In 2012, Clark entered seminary to study philosophy and theology. He received an S.T.B. from the Pontifical Gregorian University in 2016 and studied at the Pontifical Liturgical Institute.

In 2016, he visited the Diocese of Bridgeport as a guest but began to discern the possibility of a call to serve as a priest in Bridgeport, upon returning to seminary.

Dioconate Ordination Photos by Amy Mortensen

Clark arrived at St. Thomas More in Darien in November of 2017 as a guest of the diocese to discern the call further and started a second assignment at the Catholic Academy of Stamford/Trinity Catholic High School in August 2018.

Clark completed major seminary in 2018 at the Venerable English College in Rome. Clark is currently teaching Theology and Music at Cardinal Kung Academy in Stamford and teaching Religion at Trinity Catholic.

“My experience of seminary formation has been a gradual process of opening myself up to say a deeper ‘yes’ to God; a ‘yes’ that involves trusting Him no matter what the logic of the world may say, a ‘yes’ that occupies chambers of my heart I did not know existed. When I started, I could have had no idea that His divine providence would lead me to the United States, but as I prepare to receive Holy Orders for the Diocese of Bridgeport, my restless heart has great peace in knowing that I come to serve where He has led me by His own mighty hand and outstretched arm,” says Clark.

During his homily, Bishop Caggiano said,

“We are here my friends because we welcome the light that is Christ in every moment in every day, as His disciples. But Michael that light has led you to this moment. A remarkable odyssey, one that you could not have ever forseen as a little boy. And yet how good God is, how gracious. ”

“His light has guided you…I applaud your courage and fidelity, to have walked faithfully where the light has led you. And He has led you here, for which this your family of faith that is the Diocese of Bridgeport welcomes you with open arms and I am deeply, deeply grateful.”

“But that light has much more for you to do… so that you may now be configured to Christ who shows His light to the world as a servant. That light will give you the grace to continue to enlighten your mind so that you may be a herald of the truth.”

“Also allow the light who is Christ to enlighten your heart. As a deacon you will have the privilege to serve at the altar… as the bridge to all the hopes and dreams and sufferings and pains of God’s people.”

“He will enlighten your ministry at Trinity Catholic High School…where many young people are searching. It is only the light of Christ that can heal. Christ will give you that grace, first in your own life and then to the lives of those entrusted to your care.”

“I have come to know you as a man of great charity. But the Lord will ask more, for more is asked of those for whom more is given.”

“There will never be a moment in your life that for whatever the Lord asks of you He will not give you the abundance of His grace to respond as generously as you can. The light will always be there no matter how dark the horizon may be.”

“Spend your life joyfully in service of God’s people and the light will lead you one day, my brother, to the gift of seeing the light face to face in the glory of everlasting life. Congratulations Michael, may God continue to bless you, we are all very proud of you, and may the light lead you forward all the days of your life.”

Deacon Clark will assist at his first Mass in his present home parish of St. Joseph in South Norwalk on February 3 at 10 am. Father Peter Lenox, pastor, will celebrate the Mass.

Dioconate Ordination Reception Photos by Amy Mortensen