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Hauck, John W.

190670September 15, 2020

John W. Hauck passed away peacefully on Tuesday September 15th 2020 at his home with his loving family at his side.

Jack, as he is known, was 87 and a member and communicant of Christ Our Light Catholic church. Jack was born on December 22nd, 1932 in Cliffside Park, NJ. His parents were Mary Agnes McKenna and John William Hauck, Sr. He was the second child of eight siblings: Irene Therese, Mary Bridget, William Francis, James Edward, Charles Joseph, Thomas Patrick and David Michael. This was also the time of the Great Depression which strangely enough was hardly ever mentioned. Friends would remark that it must have been difficult to live in a house where there were ten people and only one bathroom. Bob Hope reported that he learned to dance waiting to get into the bathroom in the morning.

The family went to mass each week at the Carmelite Parish of Saint Joe’s and the children attended school at the same parish. Jack served as an altar boy and confided in his parents that he was going to be a priest. The pastor, Fr. Mark Gardner, made arrangements for Jack to enter the Carmelite Seminary in Hamilton, MA in 1949.

His studies took him to Mt. Carmel College for Philosophy in Niagara Falls, Canada, and then to the Carmelite Noviate in New Baltimore, Pa. in 1957. He entered Whitefriars Hall, the Carmelite House of Theology in Washington, DC. Having completed all these studies, Jack was ordained a priest at the Carmelite Shrine in Middletown, NY on June 4, 1960. His first assignment was as a missionary priest in Lima, Peru. Three years later he was sent to Santiago, Chile, as pastor of the parish Santo Cura de Ars. Pope John was the Pope and the Vatican Council was in progress. The oncoming shortage of priests brought on a discussion about having a married priesthood. The Cardinal asked “we have a choice: married priests or no priests?” The Vatican has held on to priestly celibacy, at least until now.

Upon his return to the states he became director of the Retreat House in Mahwah, NJ, and also Chaplain for the county jail in Patterson, NJ. Much of his work was with alcoholics and families – and it was there he became acquainted with the Twelve Steps of Recovery, a spiritual program based on the life of Christ and the Gospel.

He had put aside all thoughts of marriage for himself- until he met Janice. He believed that in the same way he had a vocation, a calling from God to the priesthood, that he now had a vocation, a calling from God to marry Janice. Jack never considered himself to be an ex-priest or a former- priest, but a married priest. He could not function publicly as a priest- but nevertheless he continues to be a priest, forever- and that God, having called him to the married priesthood, would show him the way. The Vatican periodically discusses a married priesthood but so far has not approved it except in special cases.

Jack was granted a leave of absence and a disposition from the Vatican to marry. On December 7, 1973, he married Janice M. Baricko. Three daughters were born: Kelly Elizabeth, Devon Mary, and Katie Ann. There are also two grand-daughters, Anna and Frances, and two grandsons Liam and Louis.
In order to support his family, Jack continued to dedicate himself to the work he had been doing as a priest at the Retreat House. As a counselor and program director in the addiction field, his mission was to be with those patients and families in their struggle for sobriety and better lives.

His first position was with the SPARC recovery unit at St. Peter’s Hospital. Next at Samaritan Hospital, then Leonard Hospital and at St. Mary’s Hospital. When he retired after forty years at the age of 80, he had worked at almost every recovery program in the Albany area. Jack realized that patients using the Twelve Step Recovery program did better in recovery and that is brought them closer to God. He presided over hundreds of patient Step meetings that focused on “turning our wills and lives over to the care of God.” It was similar to being the pastor of a parish. “Most everything worthwhile in life begins when our power ends; because it is then that we are forced to open our hearts to a power greater that ourselves, and that power is God who leads us all the way home.” Over the tears, Jack wrote a book entitled, “All the Way Home.”

Jack was the president of the parish council for six years at Our Lady of Mercy with Fr. Waldron. He and Jan were deeply involved for six months at CITI and counseled couples who, for whatever were not in touch with the church but wanted God and religion in their marriage and families.
Jack did not send away those who came to him for help. A patient dying of brain cancer who had drifted away from God and the Church was now anxious to return to the sacraments. He was ashamed and afraid to speak with the parish priest or chaplain. Jack met with him twice and provided the help he was seeking. The patient died two days later. Jack also volunteered at Hospice in addition to his work in the local hospitals. His hobby was writing: Love and Life, on family life: All the Way Home, on recovery: and The Priest Who Got Married.

Jack’s wife Janice, was the wife of a Catholic priest. She stood with him and behind him and in front of him. She could be held up as a model to what a blessing it would be for the Church to have women involved in the married priesthood. Janice was simply a saint whose life brought the presence and grave of God to everyone she met. Janice died of cancer on October 21, 2017. She suffered greatly the tear before her death, never once complaining, and always with the intention of doing and accepting God’s will. Jack offered mass at home for his wife Janice when she was dying.

Jack said that his life has been one of thankfulness: for all he received from God: from his Church: from each day. He is especially thankful for his priesthood, his wife, and his three daughters- Kelly, Devon, and Katie: also two granddaughters Anna and France, and his two grandsons Liam and Louis. God called him for a double vocation- the priesthood and married life, and it worked out well. Now he is going home. Jan is waiting for him.

Calling hours will be held at New Comer Cremations & Funerals, 343 New Karner Road, Colonie, NY on Sunday September 20, 2020 from 12:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Gathering size, within our chapels will be based on the most current NYS occupancy requirements. Masks are required, and social distancing is to be observed inside and outside of our chapels. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Monday September 21, 2020 at 10 am at Christ Our Light Catholic Church, 1 Maria Drive, Albany NY. Please only enter the Church from the front entrance; masks and social distancing are required; church Ambassadors will be available to help with seating and questions; and please attempt to arrive before (15 minutes prior to scheduled Mass time.

Video Tribute:

Jack was a long time member of CORPUS.