Alphonse H. Clemens, 72, retired associate professor of sociology in the graduate school of Catholic University, died Monday at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda after a long illness.

He taught there from 1946 until 1970, and in 1950 started master's and doctoral degree programs in Family Life, which he directed.

Dr. Clemens also had opened the university's Marriage Counseling Center in 1951, and directed it for many years.

In addition, he had been director of the Air Force Chaplain's Institute on Human Relations, the Clergy Seminar on Family Apostolate and Marriage Counseling and the Workshop on Marriage Counseling and Family Life.

He lectured on pastoral counseling in the School of Sacred Theology and wrote several books, including "Marriage and the Family - An Integrated Approach" and "Design for Successful Marriage."

Dr. Clemens published "Survey of the Cana Movement in the U.S.," Edited several books on marriage and contributed to a number of encyclopedias.

Born in St. Louis, Mo., he was a graduate of St. Louis University where he also earned master's and doctoral degrees.

From 1936 to 1946, he directed the departments of sociology and economics, the Family Education Program and the Consumer Institute at Fontbonne College in St. Louis. He started a bachelor's degree program in Family Life there, one of the first in the nation.

During that period, Dr. Clemens also lectured on economics in the school of commerce and finance and on sociology in the Institute of Social Order of St. Louis University.

After retiring in 1970, he studied for two years in the diaconate program at the Josephite Seminary here in 1974, he joined the chaplain's staff at the Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, and was installed as eucharistic minister there, where he served until his past April.

Dr. Clemens was a former president of the American Sociological Society, a former member of the executive board of the National Catholic Conference on Family Life, a former member of the advisory board of the National Council on Family Relations and a member of the American Catholic Sociological Society.

He had served in the St. Louis offices of the War Labor Board, the Office of Price Administration and the National Labor Relations Board and was a member of the National Association of Arbitrators.

He is survived by a daughter, Mary Ellen Jones, of Laurel; a son, John J., of Rockville; two sisters, Ann C. Dunbar, of Rockville, and Dolores C. Steffen, of St. Louis, and four grandchildren.