Guide to the Joseph Mahoney Clark, S.J. Papers
Finding aid prepared by Mary Kenney
California Jesuit Archives
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA, 95053
Title: Joseph Mahoney Clark, S.J. Papers
Identifier/Call Number: 5600ClaJ
California Jesuit Archives
Language of Material:
2.0 Linear feet
Date (inclusive): 1900-1980
Scope and Contents
The colletion contains Curia files, correspondence, military records, photographs, newspaper clippings, and ephemera. Of particular
interest to researchers are correspondence and documents to / from individual prisoners in the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary
whom Father Clark served as prison chaplain. These men include: John Rosselli, Alvin Karpis, John Paul Chase, and Al Capone
among others. Father Clark taught painting to inmates, including John Paul Chase. Their work was exhibited in Union Square,
San Francisco in the late 1940s.
Alcatraz Island (Calif.)
St. Henry's Church (Brigham City, Utah)
Joseph Mahoney Clark was born in Deming, New Mexico, 10 June 1900. After graduating from Loyola High School in Los Angeles
in 1918, he trained in the Army Corps of Engineers. He entered the Society of Jesus in the California Province in 1919. After
seven years of formation and study he taught physics at St. Ignatius College and High School in San Francisco and then at
Brophy College Preparatory in Phoenix. He studied theology at Weston College in Massachusetts where he was ordained in 1932.
Father Clark was most noted for his work as a hospital chaplain in San Francisco General Hospital and prison chaplain at Alcatraz,
1935-1942 and again 1946-1952. In World War II he served as a military chaplain in the 59th Evacuation Hospital, 1942-1944,
and the 35th Field Hospital, 1944-1945, in North Africa and Italy. From 1957 to 1964 he was pastor of St. Henry's Church in
Brigham City, Utah. His final service as a chaplain was spent as St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, 1964-1971. He died in the
Regis Infirmary at the Sacred Heart Jesuit Center in Los Gatos, 20 February 1980.
Included in this series are correspondence to / from Father Provincial and other Jesuit Fathers, monthly chaplain reports,
academic and military service records.
The bulk of Father Clark's personal correspondence includes prison memorabilia and letters, and letters written during World
War II from North Africa and Italy.
Alcatraz Federal Prison,
Correspondence and documents regarding individual prisoners in the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary are the core of the collection
and reflect Father Clark's influence on certain inmates. Correspondence continues after the closure of Alcatraz in 1963 with
John Paul Chase and former Alcatraz warden, Paul Madigan.