OUR MISSION STATEMENT
The Church Family of St. Clement Pope Parish proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ by praying and celebrating the sacraments; by fostering a community of love among all people; by serving all, especially the poor, vulnerable, and the alienated; by teaching from generation to generation.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF OUR CHURCH
St. Clement Pope Church was established in South Ozone Park in 1908, as an out-station of St. Monica’s in Jamaica. It was not until 1913 that Bishop Charles Edward McDonnell appointed the first resident priest for the parish whose name is Fr. James M. Foram. He was replaced by Fr. Anthony E. Bourke in 1916. At his death, he was succeeded by Fr. James Dunn who later was succeeded by Fr. Stephen McGrail. The Church had a gradual growth thanks to the faith, love and sacrifice of its members.
Fr. William Donohue who succeeded Fr. McGrail was pastor until 1965 when Father Vincent Brown took the office of shepherding God’s People. The parish was changing its composition from German and Irish background, to rich blend of people of African American heritage.
It was under the pastorate of Fr. Robert McCourt that the parish Church was renovated to reflect the culture of the worshiping community. The idea was continued by the next pastor, Fr. Kenneth Vetter who added more touches to a beautiful place.
Others who have served the parish were Fr. Raymond Richards who succeeded Fr. Vetter and Fr. Jeffry Dillon who like Fr. Vetter was a curate in the parish. He was pastor from 1990 to 1994. Fr. Dillon led the parish kindly and efficiently and many needed repairs were undertaken during his pastoral leadership. Fr. Edward J. Brekert was mentioned in the appointment of Bishop Thomas V. Daily in 1993 reflecting the number of priests who have served in the parish of St. Clement Pope.
The parochial school of St. Clement Pope which was flourishing was established in 1933 by the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville Community. Sister M. Philothea was its principal and many more Dominican Sisters, Brothers of the Sacred Heart and countless numbers of dedicated lay women and men filled its hallways to educate thousands of young men and women of every faith. The Brothers of the Sacred Heart came to establish their residence here at St. Clement. The school has seen principals come and go like Sr. Joan Donovan and Sr. Ave Laffey. It has experienced wonderful trustees and leaders of societies. It has been visited by Bishops like the late Joseph A Francis and the late Emerson Moore. It has been enlivened by people like Fr. Daniel Berrigan and Sr. Thea Bowman. But what has remained constant over the years is the faith of the people.
In its journey, St. Clement has had the ordination of its first class of Deacon in the person of the late Robert Nero. Afterwards, the parish was blessed with the ordination of its second deacon, in the person of Deacon Nathaniel Smith who serves presently in the parish. In the resent times, those who served here, were Fr. Christopher Ezeoke who was succeeded by Fr. Jeff Dillon and later by Fr. Anthony Nzegwu.
Thanks to the Ordinary- Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, the present Bishop of Brooklyn, the Parish is currently served by the priests of the Society of Divine Vocations (Vocationist Fathers) with Fr. Michael Onyekwere, SDV as the pastor and Fr. Ignatius Okoroji, SDV as the parochial vicar. The Church is being beautified more through the renovations going on in it at this time.