It is with regret that we inform you of the death at 1.50 am on Wednesday 21st June 2017 in Herbert House aged 70, of
Father John Dudley Clement
Mill Hill Missionary
May he reast in peace
John Dudley Clement was born on 8th January 1947 to Ronald Clement and Mary (neé Owen). He had one sister and the family lived in Swinton, Manchester. John was elementary education was at St Charles’ School, Swinton. It was during this time that John had his first contact with Mill Hill. One of his earliest memories was of going with his mother to people’s houses to empty the red Mission Boxes – in fact they had one in their own home. During this time there was an APF/Mill Hill appeal in his home parish and John was inspired by the priest who preached the Mission appeal to think about a missionary vocation for himself. Consequently John did his Secondary education at Freshfield from 1959 – 1966. He studied Philosophy at Roosendaal from 1966 – 1968 and entered St Joseph’s College Mill Hill in September 1968. John studied Theology here, and also had a year’s leave of absence during which he worked as a social worker. Having returned to Mill Hill he completed his Theology and then took his Perpetual Oath in 1972. He was ordained to the missionary priesthood in Kings Hall, Bell Vue, Manchester, on 2nd June 1973 by Thomas Holland, Bishop of Salford. This was sixteen years after his first contact with the Mill Hill Priest at the parish Mission appeal.
After ordination John was appointed to the Diocese of San José, Antique, Philippines where he served in various parishes for the next sixteen years. He described the diocese as ‘remote but beautiful’ where difficulties such as the absence of roads and electricity, even, in one parish, running water, were off-set by the excitement of the work he was doing. He listed some of the supports for the people: basic Christian Communities; family life movement; parish high schools; and a diocesan radio station. Priest were few and were assisted by Mensa Domini sisters or lay people who were trained in the diocesan catechetical centre. In 1989 John was recalled to the British Region where the rest of his missionary life was spent.
John was very good at administration and, at various times he served as Regional Bursar and Bursar of St Joseph’s College, and Mission Animation and Vocations Director. The appointment, in 1997, to APF in the British Region, saw John’s life come full circle as it were. The APF had always been a part of John’s life and now, as it were, he was able to give back to it by working directly for it in some of the Dioceses of the British Region. In 2003 John went to stay with his father to be able to care for him. John’s mother had died some years before and now his father’s health was failing. John’s final appointment was to Abergele where he continued his APF work.
Over the last few years John’s own health had been failing and early this year he went Herbert House where he could be cared for. It was as recently as the middle of May when John was told that only Palliative Care could help him and the staff at Herbert House, assisted by the Palliative Care team, cared for him lovingly.
Yesterday, 21st June, John’s condition deteriorated and he was given the Last Sacraments at 11.30 am. Barbara and Ken Dean, John’s sister and brother-in-law arrived after lunch to visit him and were with him at his death at 1.50 pm. John’s funeral will be at 11.00 am on Monday 3rd July in Herbert House, followed by burial in the cemetery there.
May John rest in peace.