A funeral Mass was offered Dec. 5. at Holy Spirit Church, Gloversville, for Rev. Michael Clemente, who died Nov. 29. He was 88 and had been a priest of the Albany Diocese for 61 years.

A native of Gloversville, he served as associate pastor of Blessed Sacrament parish in Hague, St. Anthony's in Schenectady (where he was later administrator), Sacred Heart in Cairo, St. Mary's in Frankfort, Our Lady of Angels in Whitehall and St. Brigid's in Watervliet, and administrator of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Stuyvesant. He became pastor of St. Joseph's in Little Falls and director of the Diocese's Deaf Apostolate around 1976, studying sign language at Gallaudet College in Washington, D.C., and at the National Institute for the Deaf in Rochester. He then founded and spent 25 years as head of the Capital District Deaf Center. In 1978, he became administrator and then pastor of Holy Cross parish in Schenectady, where he stayed for 25 years until his retirement.

Father Clemente spoke simply about his vocation. He once told The Evangelist, "The priesthood has given me a chance to serve God by serving others. For that, I will be eternally grateful."

Having served a crucial role in an important ministry to include those with hearing impairments in the life of the Church, Father Clemente can now speak in the language of the angels. May he be granted eternal life and peace.

Interment was in Mount Carmel Cemetery, Johnstown.