By ROB HERBST
The Catholic Week
Deacon Frank J. May, who previously served as an associate director of religious education for the Archdiocese of Mobile as well as administrator of the Father Purcell Children’s Center in Montgomery, died Sunday, June 24 at the age of 83.
Deacon May was ordained in November 1984 and served at Holy Spirit Parish in Montgomery, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Millbrook and St. Mark Mission in Wetumpka (which merged into the current Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish in Wetumpka) and most recently at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Tallassee.
In an interview with Michael Bird of WACQ AM-570 Radio in Tallassee, Deacon May said his initial involvement into the diaconate came because of the encouragement of others.
“For me, the call came from the Holy Spirit through others, who we hope are God’s instruments,” Deacon May said. “There were three newly ordained deacons around that time in Montgomery, all of whom invited me to the formation program. There were also parishioners at (Holy Spirit) … who also asked me to get involved in ministry. So rather than hearing a call from above, it really came from people I knew.”
Upon being ordained, Deacon May added he especially enjoyed preaching.
“Of all the roles I get to play as a deacon, however, I think the preparation for homilies is my favorite part,” Deacon May said in the radio interview. “I always walk up and down the aisles when preaching! I have to move around. If I had to stand behind the ambo, or lectern, using notes, I would get lost!”
Deacon May was born July 2, 1934, in Chicago. He was raised in the Chicago area and Wisconsin before joining the military in 1954.
“I decided to join the Army, but wound up talking to the Air Force recruiter for three hours when the Army guy never showed up,” Deacon May said. “Before the week was over, I was on my way to San Antonio, Texas, for basic training.”
Deacon May had a long career as an Air Force Medical Service Corps officer and was eventually stationed in Montgomery, where he eventually retired.
Mass of Christian Burial was Friday at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Tallassee, with Archbishop Thomas J. Rodi celebrating. Interment will be July 6 at Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Judy; daughter Carolyn (Bryan) Strickland of Montgomery; son Tom (Brenda) May of Pensacola; grandchildren Scott and Molly Strickland and Josie May; brother Don (Patsy) May of Trout Creek, Mich.; and special grandson Anthony Ciccarone of Pensacola. He is preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Carolyn May; and his sister, Cheryl Harasha.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to either the Father Purcell Children’s Center or St. Vincent de Paul Parish.
Deacon Patrick J. Clemens
Deacon Patrick J. Clemens, who served at St. Joseph Parish in Lillian, died June 6, 2018, at the age of 83.
Deacon Clemens was ordained a deacon in the Archdiocese of Mobile on May 30, 2009. A memorial Mass was held June 22 at St. Joseph Parish.
Deacon Clemens was born to William V. and Rosary Golden Clemens in Chicago. He was a 1952 graduate of Loyola High School. He married Sheila Rose Maloney on April 8, 1957.
Pat was a proud third generation member of the International Photo-Engravers Union (IPEU) #5 in Chicago. He became an owner and operator of Mark Twain Press in the 1970s and D’Signs, a vinyl sign lettering company in the mid-1980s.
An avid traveler and camper, Pat enjoyed the trip as much as the destination. These excursions provided his children with many lifelong memories and experiences.
Survivors include his loving wife of 61 years, Sheila Rose; one daughter, six sons and 10 grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his mother Rosary, father William V.; and brother William.