Reverend John R. Larkin, O.Carm., died at the age of 80 on January 11, 2008. Father John will lie in state at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 1954 North 24th St., Phoenix, Arizona on Tuesday, January 15, from 6:00 – 9:00 P.M. with Vigil Service at 7:00 P.M. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00 A.M. Wednesday, January 16, at St. Agnes Catholic Church. Interment will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery, Avondale, Arizona. Born in 1927 to the late Clement J. Larkin and the late Helen M. McKeown, Father Larkin’s siblings include Robert J. Larkin Mary Jeanne of Mequon, WI, the late Mary Larkin and the late Rev. Ernest J. Larkin, O.Carm., also a member of the Chicago province of Carmelites. He is also survived by eight nieces and nephews. Baptized in St. Margaret of Scotland Parish, Chicago, IL; he attended school there before he was a student at nearby St. Sabina School, where he obtained his diploma in June of 1940. Later that year he entered in the Carmelite seminary system, in which his brother Ernest was studying at the time, at the Carmelite Junior Seminary at Niagara Falls, ON, Canada. In 1944 Father John would remain at Carmelite’s Canadian monastery to complete his undergraduate degree at Mount Carmel College. By 1948, with degree in hand, Father Larkin spent several months at Whitefriars Hall, Washington D.C., the major formation house province. Here he professed solemn vows with the province in August of that year. Two months later he departed for Rome, Italy and the Order of Carmelite’s International College of St. Albert, for further theological studies. During this period as a student, it was on July 8, 1951 Brother Pierre the religious name that John accepted when he professed simple vows in 1945 was ordained to the priesthood. In his first assignment, Father John served as Dean of Studies and teacher at Chicago’s Mount Carmel High School. While there he completed a M.A. degree in education at the nearby University of Chicago. Later, while a parish priest in the early 1970’s Father Larkin completed a second Masters degree, focused on Pastoral Counseling at St. John’s University, New York. His eight year assignment in Chicago ended in 1960 when he began a three year journey with the Carmelite Mission Band traveling throughout U.S. Catholic parishes preaching the Gospel and inspiring the faithful to support the mission work of the Carmelites, especially that in Peru. Returning to serve as an educator, Father John joined the Carmelite community at Tucson, AZ in 1963 where he joined his brother Carmelites in teaching at Salpointe Catholic High School. By 1968 he engaged in a new ministry as Director of the St. Therese Chapel, located within a major shopping center in Peabody, MA. In 1971, expanding on this chapel ministry, Father Jack, as he was commonly called, would spend the remaining twenty-seven years in Parish ministry. First stationed at Immaculate Conception Parish, Norwood, NJ, he was then named pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish, Newport News, VA in 1975. Returning to Arizona in 1981, he served in Glendale at St. Raphael Parish then St. Agnes, Phoenix. It was in Phoenix, AZ that Father John began his retirement in 1998. While a student at St. Sabina School, Chicago in the late 1930’s a young Jack Larkin wrote about the attractiveness of the Carmelite Order: “I seem to get an inspiration for the Blessed Lady.” The Order of Carmelites was founded by hermits on Mount Carmel, Israel where they were inspired by Our Lady of Mount Carmel, a title of the Blessed Virgin Mary. “I can’t express my feeling in words but it is a yearning inside of me,” wrote Father John Larkin of his eventual life as a Carmelite brother, educator and priest. May he rest in peace. For further information on Reverend John R. Larkin, O.Carm., or the Order of Carmelites contact the Carmelite Communications Center at 630 971-0724 or visit the Carmelite website at www.carmelnet.org. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to Hospice of the Valley, 1510 E. Flower St., Phoenix, AZ 85014.
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