Born: October 1, 1874

Died: December 31, 1949

Right Reverend Monsignor Clarence A. Kitts was the pastor of St. Bernard's Church from 1932 until his death in 1949.

Lake Placid News, January 6, 1950


Died Last Sat. at Rectory, Was Dean of Clergy of Adirondack Deanery

Rt. Rev. Msgr. Clarence A. Kitts. V.F., 75, pastor of St. Bernard's Church, Saranac Lake and Dean of the Clergy of the Adirondack Deanery, died Saturday at 1:30 a.m. at the Rectory, following a cerebral hemorrhage. Although Monsignor Kitts had been actively engaged in administering the parish, his health had been failing for the past few years.

Monsignor Kitts was born October 1, 1874 at Rennselaer Falls, the son of the late James Kitts and Bridget Healey Kitts. He graduated from the State Teachers College at Potsdam, and taught school several years before entering the Grand Seminary at Montreal to study for the priesthood. Monsignor Kitts was ordained to the priesthood by the late Bishop Gabriels at Holy Family Church in Watertown on December, 1904.

Following his ordination, he was named an assistant at St. Mary's Cathedral, where he served until August, 1908, when he was named pastor of St. John's Church, Lafargeville. On April 1, 1913, Monsignor Kitts was transferred to St. Raphael's Church, Heuvelton. At that time, St. Henry's Church, DeKalb Junction, and SS. Philip & James' Church, Lisbon, were missions of the Heuvelton parish.

During his pastorage at Huevelton, Monsignor Kitts also served as secretary to Bishop Gabriels until latter's death in 1921, and as Chancellor of the Diocese until 1922, when he was named pastor of Holy Name Church, Ausable Forks.

While pastor at AuSable Forks he built the present church which was completed in 1931. About 1928, he built St. Margaret's Church at Wilmington, a few miles distant from AuSable Forks. This church is now attended from Black Brook.

On October 1, 1932, Monsignor' Kitts was named pastor of St. Bernard's Church, Saranac Lake, succeeding Monsignor Creeden, who had been assigned to Holy Family Church, Watertown, earlier in the year.

This fall, he completely renovated St. Bernard's Church. The work was formally blessed by Bishop McEntegart on December 1st, the 45th anniversary of Monsignor's ordination.

Monsignor Kitts was named Dean of the Adirondack Deanery in 1934. Up to that time, Saranac Lake was part of the Franklin County Deanery, when the new deanery to be known as the Adirondack Deanery was created by the late Bishop Conroy. It comprises the following parishes: St. Bernard's, Saranac Lake; St. Alphonsus, Tupper Lake; Holy Name, Faust; St. Henry's, Long Lake; St. John's, Newcomb; St. Theresa, Tahawus; St. John's, Lake Clear Junction; St. Gabriel, Paul Smiths; St. Agnes, Lake Placid; St. Paul's, Bloomingdale; St. Brendan's, Keene; Church of the Assumption, Gabritels; Holy Name, AuSable Forks; St. Mathew's, Black Brook; St. Margaret's, Wilmington.

Late in 1941, Monsignor Kitts was elevated to the rank of a domestic prelate by Pope Pius XII, with the title of Right Reverend Monsignor. He was invested in the robes of his rank in ceremonies at St. Bernard's Church in March of 1942 by the late Bishop Monaghan. Since 1939, Monsignor Kitts had been a parish consultor.

Monsignor Kitts is survived by one brother, Carl, of Elmshurst, Long Island; two nephews, Bernard and Carl Kitts; two nieces, Mary Kitts and Ann Teresa, a member of the Dominican Sisters and known now as Sister Mary Alma.

Monsignor Kitts had two sisters in the Dominican Sisters, Sister Mary Alma, who died at Newburgh, N. Y. in 1933, and Sister M. Eucharia, who died about 1945 in Texas. Another sister, Frances, died in March, 1949.

Funeral services were held on Wednesday morning at 11 o'clock at St. Bernard's Church, Saranac Lake, and the burial was in the family plot in St. Mary's cemetery; Canton.

Lake Placid News, July 21, 1933


Appointment of Rev. Clarence A. Kitts, rector of St. Bernard's church in Saranac Lake, as dean of a newly established Adirondack deanery has been announced by Most Rev. Joseph H. Conroy, bishop of the Roman Catholic diocese of Ogdensburg.

The purpose of the establishment of the rural deanery is to facilitate conferences in view of the distances of the various parishes from the diocesan headquarters and to eliminate inconveniences for the priests. It includes Piercefield, Faust, Tupper Lake, Lake Clear, Saranac Lake, Alder Brook, Bloomingdale, Gabriels, Long Lake Placid, Black Brook and AuSable Forks.

Father Kitts has been pastor of St. Bernard's church since the transfer of Rev. Joseph Creeden, former pastor at Saranac Lake, about a year ago. Father Kitts went to Saranac Lake from AuSable Forks.