Father Richard Clifford

Friday, December 2, 2016

Fr. Dick Clifford, class of 1948, passed away on November 27, 2016, at his Maryknoll retirement community in New York. Below is a short biography of Fr. Clifford that was prepared for his Hall of Fame induction in 2011.

“The Rev. Richard Clifford, Class of 1948 is a Maryknoll priest who has spent his life serving poor Latin American communities and feeding the hungry, including many years running a free lunch program for children in a poor area of Mérida, the largest city in Mexico's Yucatán Peninsula. After his ordination in 1953, Fr. Clifford began his mission career in Peru, teaching at the San Ambrosio Seminary run by the Maryknoll fathers and brothers. In 1957, he was transferred to the capital, Lima, where he continued his social and pastoral service while writing a daily column, "The Human Touch," in La Prensa, one of Peru's foremost newspapers of the time. Ultimately, he would publish four books recounting his missionary service, which has spanned Peru, Bolivia, Colombia and Guatemala.

“Now in San Sebastián, a poor neighborhood in the city of Mérida where he began his ministry in 1980, he continues the free lunch program he started nine years ago with the help of Society of St. Vincent de Paul volunteers. It provides a daily meal to about 80 children, and for most of them this is the only nutritious food they will have all day. He also offers their mothers a free meal to take home after the lunch is over. Fr. Clifford's program also offers other care, including doctor consultations. Beyond all this, he gives spiritual guidance to those feeling abandoned and unloved in this world and welcomes all families in his community as members not of his flock but of his family.”

There is no doubt that he dedicated his life to those in need the most. His deep love and admiration for Carroll College can be heard in his acceptance speech here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7zFAkE0fwgA.

May he find eternal peace and rest with Our Father in Heaven.