It was with great sadness that we learned of the sudden passing of Fr Patsy Mullan on Thursday past. Not only was Fr Mullan a friend of our school and its pupils, he was a regular visitor who was never found wanting when it came to addressing the spiritual and sacramental needs of our pupils and staff. Mr McCloskey will particulary miss receiving his ashes from Fr Patsy at the beginning of Lent.
Fr Mullan also played his part in the management of our school, serving as Chairman of our Board of Governors until his retiremant as Parish Priest in 2016.
He will be sadly missed by our whole school community and the parish of Faughanvale and Lower Cumber.
Below is an extract from Fr McDermot’s Homily at Fr Mullan’s Requiem Mass.
Had he lived till next June, Father Mullan would have been here in Faughanvale and Lower Cumber for twenty-five years. He was appointed parish priest in June 1997, just one month after the untimely death of Father Jack Gallagher.
Maybe it is something that we take for granted but which I think is remarkable nonetheless is the fact that in his fifty-five years of priesthood, Father Mullan’s service was unbroken. He never took a sabbatical, he never took extended leave to do a course, he never took time off except one day each week and the holidays that he was allowed to take – that is, to be absent from his parish for three Sundays each year.
When he retired from active ministry in 2018 we were delighted as a parish community that he decided to remain among us. In the gospel reading of this Mass (John 6:50-58) Jesus describes himself a s the Bread of Life. In a very real and radical way, Father Mullan dedicated his life to making Jesus, the Bread of Life, present and real in the lives of all to whom he ministered. In the Catholic tradition we speak of the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist.
The primary purpose of a priest’s life is to make Jesus present among the people whom he serves.
Father Mullan made Jesus present each and every day when he offered the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Each and every day! He made Christ present in his unfailing, tireless and compassionate care for the sick, the troubled, the sad, the lost and the forgotten.
Even after his retirement he continued to minister to the sick in a very special way, but to all who continued to come to his door seeking prayer and blessing, encouragement and hope, a listening ear and a sympathetic heart. He was available to all regardless of who or what they were or their religious affiliation. He reached out the hand of friendship to everyone.
We thank God for his ministry and his witness to the love and mercy of Jesus Christ.
Our prayer today is that Father Mullan has been reunited with his beloved parents Dan and Mamie in the blessed land of heaven where for all eternity they will rejoice in the presence of the Lamb of God, the One to whose gospel and glory Father Mullan dedicated his life. May his gentle and faithful soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
(From the sermon at Father Mulan’s Requiem Mass).
May he Rest In Peace. Amen.