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Gainty, Clement J.

June 20, 1999, Paxton, MA
Clement was ordained for the Archdiocese of Hartford, CT. Following leaving the priesthood, he married Mary Kate Gainty and had three children, Christopher, Denis, and Caitjan. Clement was a longt time community college educator and administrator at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, MA. For a short time he was a temporary president of the school. He died at the age of 71.

MASS OF RESURRECTION--Eulogy by Rev. James Walsh

CLEMENT J. GAINTY June 24, 1999 St. Columba's Church Paxton, MA

Many of us who profess to follow the ways of God find our inspiration in the Old Testament Scriptures, and in the teachings of Christ in the New Testament. We know that much of what Scripture has to teach us is about how we should live our lives outside of the security and sanctity of these walls. That is not to say that what we do here - our Eucharistic Celebration - is not important; it is the heart of our faith experience. But rather, what we do here only makes sense in relation to how well we live our lives outside of this sanctuary. There is a line in Matthew's gospel, which we read last Sunday, that underscores this fact, "Whoever acknowledges Me before others - in the world - I will acknowledge before My heavenly Father for all eternity." This line describes perfectly for me the life and work of my friend, Clem Gainty.

I am sure that as a young man, Clem had many options as to how he would live his life. He chose to enroll in St. Mary's Seminary in order to prepare himself to lead his life as a Catholic Priest - in order to acknowledge God before others. In 1953 he was ordained for the ArchDiocese of Hartford, Connecticut. As a priest, he served God's people as a parish priest, and as a school Administrator, but NOTHING pleased him more than serving the most vulnerable of all of God's people - the sick and the dying - as a chaplain at St. Raphael's Hospital in New Haven, Connecticut. If you were to talk to a Hospital Chaplain, you would find that this work is the most draining work a priest does - yet Clem relished the work of making God present to the sick and the dying.

Many of you remember our former colleague at Quinsigamond Community College, George O'Rourke, who died of cancer a year or so ago. What many of you probably do not know is how present Clem was to George during his illness. Before George died, Clem called me and asked me to administer the Sacrament of the Sick to George. It dawned on me, as we entered George's house, that Clem had been more present to George as Priest than I was, therefore, he had more right to administer the Sacrament than I did. On that day Clem made God present to George in a very loving and faith-filled way as he ministered to him one final time.

God's love for us knows no boundaries. At times He sends people into our lives to help us love Him and His people more perfectly. For Clem, this person was his beloved wife, Mary-Kate - his sons Christopher and Denis, and his daughter, Caitjan. For the past 30+ years, God has been present in the love, the warmth, the joys and the sorrows of the Gainty family.

Like many of you, I have been priviledged to have shared in the love of the Gainty family house-hold. Music is always playing in the background. You know when you are in the Gainty home that you are with people who love one another and are truly happy to be present to one-another. I have an image in my mind of Clem sitting at his place at the head of the dining room table looking very pleased with all that is going on around him.

Where there is joy and happiness - where people support and love one another and share life's joys and sorrows - God is present.

Many of us knew and respected Clem in his role as Vice President of Student Services at Quinsigamond Community College. Quinsigamond is a school that truly cares about its students. While no one person can take credit for this, certainly Clem and through him, his whole Divisim contributed greatly to this atmosphere. Under Clem's watch, Student Services truly lived up to its mission, to serve the needs of the students.

While not everyone always agreed with his policies - most did agree that when he acted - he acted with integrity, consistency and compassion. Clem - the Priest - the Husband - the Father - the College Administrator - and our Friend - spent his life making God present to all of us. May his caring spirit rest forever in the peace that only God can give.