The community of St. Mary Catholic Church is mourning its campus director Clifton Lively who died suddenly in his home after an illness on June 20.
Lively, an expert in St. Mary's art and architecture, once called the church "a jewelbox." He was 43.
Lively's funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Monday (June 25) at St. Mary Catholic Church on the corner of 4th and Ann streets.
St. Mary's development officer JoAnn Daley wrote this tribute to Lively.
"He was such an amazing person, and I know that people say that about everyone once they have died, but he really was. He connected with everyone, on every level and always saw the good and the promise in people when none of the rest of us could. That went for all of us, co-workers, parishioners, service workers, even his endless array of volunteers and day-workers. He treated all with absolute respect and dignity, and everyone felt compelled to live up to his expectations. When you interacted with Clifton you felt special, important and respected and, most of all, accepted for who you are because, as my friend Sandy said, “he got you”. He really understood and “got” where most people were coming from. He took the time to listen and relate to feelings and concerns.
He was THE problem solver in almost every situation. Whether is was the endless building maintenance and management tasks and work orders, arranging flowers for the church, arranging events, cooking his beloved Cajun cuisine or mentoring folks who needed help, he was very capable and, most of all, willing to take the time to resolve problems and make things right; fairly, humanely and sensibly. He was usually the voice of reason and, very often, had the final word.
He was knowledgeable on almost every topic that came up for discussion, not from a know-it-all perspective but real knowledge. He was passionate about his Louisiana heritage, social justice and stood firmly in his principles and beliefs. He was an incredible role model and if he considered you a friend you knew you were in a special group of people.
I really don’t think any of us realize the magnitude of our loss just yet."