Guide to the Joseph Mahoney Clark, S.J. Papers 5600ClaJ

Finding aid prepared by Mary Kenney
California Jesuit Archives
Santa Clara University
500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA, 95053
(408) 554-5432

Title: Joseph Mahoney Clark, S.J. Papers
Identifier/Call Number: 5600ClaJ
Contributing Institution: California Jesuit Archives
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 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.

Access Terms

Alcatraz Island (Calif.)
Chaplains, Hospital
Chaplains, Military
Chaplains, Prison
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.

Box 1

Curia Files, 1919-1980


Included in this series are correspondence to / from Father Provincial and other Jesuit Fathers, monthly chaplain reports, academic and military service records.
Box 1

Correspondence, 1931-1976


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.
Box 1


Box 2-3

Alcatraz Federal Prison, 1935-1952


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.
Box 4-5


Box 5