Carlin, Joseph M, 1915-1988, Jesuit priest

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Carlin, Joseph M, 1915-1988, Jesuit priest

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  • Joe Carlin

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Dates of existence

11 December 1915-13 July 1988

History

Born: 11 December 1915, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947
Professed: 02 February 1950
Died: 13 July 1988, St Francis, Cape Girardeau MO, USA - St John’s Parish, Leopold MO, USA

by 1962 at St Francis Xavier Phoenix AZ, USA (CAL) working
by 1965 at Brophy Prep, Phoenix AZ, USA (CAL) working
by 1968 at Our Lady of Guadaloupe, San Antonio TX, USA (NOR) working
by 1971 at Catholic Charities, Fort Worth TX, USA (NOR) working
by 1974 at New Orleans LA, USA (NEB) working
by 1975 at Tulsa OK (MIS) hospital chaplain
by 1977 at Aguilar CO, USA (MIS) working
by 1982 at Mountain Grove MO (MIS) working
by 1985 at Verona MS, USA (MIS) working
by 1987 at Leopold MO, USA (MIS) working

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 4 1988 (Final Edition)

Obituary

Fr Joseph Mario Carlin (1915-1933-1988)

11th December 1915: born in Dún Laoghaire (then called Kingstown). 7th September 1933: entered SJ. 1933-35 Emo, noviciate. 1935-38 Rathfarnham, juniorate (1938: BA). 1938-41 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1941-44 regency (teaching, direction of choir): 1941-42 Belvedere, 1942-43 Mungret. 1943-44 Clongowes. 1944-48 Milltown, theology (30th June 1947: ordained a priest). 1948-49 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1949-59 Belvedere: 1949-52 teaching, direction of the choir (1957-59; also teach ing). 1952-59 editing and writing: 1952-53 assistant editor of Madonna and Messenger (then published from Belvedere). 1953-59 editor of Jesuit Year Book, which name he substituted for the older one used till 1954, Irish Jesuit Directory. 1956-59 he also edited The Sheaf, the organ of St. Joseph's Young Priests Society. (In a later summary of his career during the period 1953-59 he characterised himself as “editor, writer, newspaper columnist”.)
On 24th November 1959 Fr Carlin left Ireland to take up parish work in the Californian Province (IPN, January 1960), So began a career which was to span three American Jesuit provinces.
1959-67 California: St Francis Xavier parish, Phoenix, Arizona, assistant pastor. 1959-62 also athletic director and counsellor at the parochial grammar school. 1962-66 director of Youth office of Catholic Charities of Arizona and chaplain to the Maricopa county juvenile detention home, Phoenix.
1967-74 New Orleans: 1966-67 Our Lady of Guadalupe church, San Antonio, Texas, assistant pastor. 1967-69 Graduate studies, School of Social Work, University of Texas, Austin, Texas (1970: MSc in social work) and chaplain to Brown school for emotionally-disturbed children. 1969-73 Fort Worth: 1969 (half-year) social worker in Family Services; 1969-71 director of youth department at Catholic Charities; 1971-73 director of Catholic Social Service. 1973-74 (on a semi-sabbatical) assistant to Catholic Charities, Austin.
1974-88 Missouri: 1974-6 St Francis hospital, Tulsa, Oklahoma, chaplain. 1976-81 St Anthony Church, Aguilar, Colorado, pastor. 1981-82 Sacred Heart church, Mountain Grove, Missouri, pastor. (His few remaining assignments were also in Missouri state.) 1982-83 Mercy Villa, East Montclair, Springfield, chaplain, 1983-84 St John Vianney parish, Mountain View, associate pastor. 1984-86 Sacred Heart, Verona, administrator. 1986-88 St John's, Leopold, pastor.
13th July 1988; died in St Francis Medical Centre, Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Fr Luke J. Byrne SJ, pastoral assistant to the Missouri Provincial, in summer 1980 received from Joe a résumé of his curriculum vitae. To this Joe had appended a short self-assessment, the only one available to the present writer:
Present (1980) skills, capacity, and preferences :
1) Hospital chaplaincy in busy live-in hospital. Social Work degree and experience might be acceptable in lieu of chaplaincy certification.
2) Pastoral work, preferably in a one priest parish. Location is not important but distance from Aguilar, Colorado, might be, to avoid any kind of continuing “entanglement”.
In the next year Fr Byrne forwarded the résumé to the bishop of Springfield - Cape Girardeau, M R Bernard Law (who since became archbishop of Boston and a cardinal), with the qualification that Joe “presently” (1981) wanted the one-priest parish and not the hospital. “His doctor thinks the lower altitude of the Middle West will be favourable toward his high blood pressure problem which he treats with medication”.

At the hospital where Fr Carlin died, the chaplain and Director of Pastoral Care was Mr Arthur Kelley, a Catholic layman. In a long letter addressed to one of Joe's three sisters last August, he wrote:
It was as chaplain here at the hospital that I first met my dear friend Fr Joseph Carlin, SJ, Needless to say, with a name like Kelley we got along famously. He was always a refreshing interlude in my day. I treasured the sweetness of his wit and his genuine sense of spirituality.
Whenever he was hospitalised I saw to it that he received the Sacrament of the sick and daily Eucharist. Though his hospitalisations were usually minor problems they seemed to be spaced at steady, predictable intervals, and may have been indicators that his general health was declining. However, he was not one to complain. Since we are the only Catholic hospital in the area, we were assured of a steady customer in Joseph, who except for his last admission always felt satisfied.
Forgive me if I seem frivolous, but I can almost sense him peering over my shoulder, chiding me about being too somber and urging me to treat his obituary with levity. Joseph loved to laugh - and we had many together,
Fr Carlin's death may have seemed sudden, but I can't say it was totally unexpected either by him or by me. As I said, I felt his health had been declining for some time. Still he clung tenaciously to his parish ministry. Truly, he was a priest forever ......'
After describing the progressive deterioration of Fr Carlin's condition, Chaplain Kelley wrote that in all probability his death resulted from a clot, with other conditions as complicating factors. His death was pain-free: for his last two or three days he was not conscious or responsive, therefore could communicate nothing. From the time that his condition began to deteriorate, the bishop kept in touch by phone, as did Joe's Jesuit confrères in St Louis. Since I (Chaplain Kelley) was the only one who was here consistently, I kept them informed of everything.
Fr Carlin's funeral Mass was absolutely beautiful. The bishop's homily was superb and the church was packed. The choir was truly heavenly. He would have loved it. They laid him to rest under the trees in a quiet country cemetery near the church with some thirty priests in attendance. It was a fine send-off.

Dorothy Holzum Arnzen, PhD, composed a poem in Fr Carlin's memory and offered it to the Missouri Provincial. In her accompanying letter she wrote: ‘I was privileged to know him as our pastor at Leopold, Missouri. A few days before he left for the hospital, Fr Carlin spoke to me of the deep affection that he had for the Jesuit community. If you wish to publish the poem in your Jesuit bulletin, I would consider it an honor: but whether you wish to publish it or not, I wanted to share with you in a small way the respect and regard that we had for Fr Carlin :

In memory of Father Carlin, SJ
by Dorothy Holzum Arnzen
Some said we needed a younger man
Not such an aging one:
A priest that wouldn't move so slow
And be able to get things done.

But in the midst of all of us
He moved with tranquil grace,
With kindly ways and manners
And a smiling Irish face.

He touched the sick and dying
In a very special way,
And to the soul that longed for peace
He knew just what to say.

He could speak an innate gentleness
That was for him a part
He reached out with loving kindness
And touched our parish heart.

He came to be our Pastor
When his race was almost won,
But before he reached eternity
The important things were done.

For the above poem and most of the above information, thanks are due to Mrs Nancy Merz, Associate Archivist at the Jesuit Missouri Province Archives, St Louis, USA

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St John Catholic Church, Main Street, Leopold, MO, USA

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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830- (1830-)

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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830-

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Carlin, Joseph M, 1915-1988, Jesuit priest

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IE IJA J/480

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IE IJA

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