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Société des Missions Africaines - Province des Etats-Unis

MULVEY-John Vincent né le 11 mars 1899 à Zanesville (Ohio)
dans le diocèse de Columbus, USA
serment perpétuel le 25 mai 1942
prêtre le 29 mai 1943
décédé le 6 mai 1993

1943-1944 Notre-Dame de Lourdes, Atlanta, Géorgie
1945 Dedham, séminaire
1945-1950 Washington, séminaire
1950-1957 paroisse Sainte Philomène, Landsdowne
1958-1959 paroisse Sainte Agathe, Philadelphie
1959-1969 paroisse Sainte Marie, Savannah
1969-1973 paroisse Saint Dominique, Columbus
1974-1978 paroisse du Sacré-Cœur, Columbus
1979-1981 aumônier d’hôpital à Zanesville, Ohio
1981-1993 Zanesville, Ohio, retiré dans sa famille

décédé à l’hôpital de Zanesville, Etats-Unis, le 6 mai 1993
à l’âge de 94 ans


Father John Vincent Mulvey (1899 – 1993)

John Vincent Mulvey was born in Zanesville, Ohio, USA, in the parish of Saint Thomas Aquinas, in the diocese of Columbus, on March 11, 1899.
He died at the Good Samaritan Medical Center, Zanesville, Ohio, on May 6, 1993.

John was one of three boys and six girls born to John and Margaret (nee Schloffman) Mulvey of 718, Elberon Avenue. He attended St. Thomas Parochial Grade School, graduating in 1912. He received his second-level education at Zanesville High, finishing there in 1916. On leaving school John enlisted as a Private in the US Marine Corps and went to France. He sailed back to America on the convoy escorting President Wilson home from the Versailles Peace Conference. After the war he won a Knights of Columbanus scholarship which enabled him to attend St. John’s College in Brooklyn and Fordham in New York City. It was interesting that he should study philosophy in St. John’s College at this time. Clearly the thought of priesthood was not too far away from his mind. On graduating with an AB degree in 1923, he worked as a representative of the New York Telephone Company, becoming a Unit Supervisor in 1926, a Service Observing Supervisor in 1928, a Service Observing and Force Adjustment Supervisor in 1929 and eventually rising to the rank of Manager of the Brooklyn Telephone Business Office in 1938. But there was certain restlessness during these years. John was a committed Catholic, prominent in Catholic Action, the Catholic Evidence Guild and St. Patrick’s Clerical Students Club which he joined in 1937. It was in the latter organization, through a meeting with an SMA priest, that he came into contact with the work of the Society. He decided to apply for admission during the summer of 1938 writing in his application of his ‘long and cherished desire to assist in the great work of bringing the Catholic Church to the Negro race’.

John entered the Society’s novitiate, then located at Silver Spring MA, in October 1938. At this point the American Branch of the Society had been granted the status of a Pro-Province by Society headquarters, in preparation for the concession of a full Province. The latter could not be erected until proper training and formation structures were in place. John had the distinction of being the first candidate of the Pro-Province to be received into the Society and the first member of the full Province – conceded in March 1941 - to be ordained. Having already studied philosophy at Fordham, John received his theological formation in the Catholic University at Washington, DC (1939-1943). He was admitted as a permanent member of the Society on May 25, 1942 and ordained a priest at Trinity College chapel, Washington, DC, on May 29, 1943.

After ordination John was appointed to assist in Our Lady of Lourdes parish, Atlanta, Georgia (1943-1944) From there he was sent to the SMA Seminary in Boston to foster vocations. In addition he worked at St. James Chapel in a railroad station in Boston which Bishop Cushing had set up for travelers. In 1946 John became Procurator and Spiritual Director at the SMA Seminary in Washington DC. For the next five years he looked after the material needs of staff and students, assisted in the work of formation and offered help to Washington’s African-American parishes. From 1950-1957 he ministered in St. Philomena’s Church, Lansdowne PA, where he worked with African-Americans, visiting, it is said, every home in the community. He spent the year 1958-1959 in St. Agatha’s parish, amidst another African-American community in Philadelphia. For the next decade (1959-1969) he was pastor of the most Pure Heart of Mary Church in Savannah, GA. Until this assignment John had never worked in an SMA parish. This was not his own doing. The Provincial who appointed him pastor of St Mary’s, Patrick J. O’Donoghue, made this clear in the letter of appointment in which he wrote: ‘I think the Society owes you an apology for your having to work so long outside the interests for which you were ordained. I knew, of course, that you were happy anywhere so long as you were doing God’s work’. John’s next assignment took him to Columbus, Ohio, where he served as assistant pastor at St. Dominic’s Church (1969-1973) and at Sacred Heart Church (1974-1978).

In 1979, in declining health, John became chaplain at the Good Samaritan Medical Center in Zaneville. This was a particularly blessed appointment because he was able to visit his three sisters who had become infirm. Two years later he retired from the active ministry, going to live with his family in Zaneville. However he still exercised his ministry, though on a lower key, generously helping out in a variety of apostolates, including St. Ann’s, Dresden; St. Mary’s, Mattingly Settlement; St. James Church, McConnelsville; the State Hospital in Cambridge; the Willow Haven Nursing Home; the Addams Lane Nursing Home; and of course his old Sacred Heart parish. In addition, during the last two years of his life he held a bible study group on Monday nights in a private home; and on Tuesday nights celebrated Mass in his own home for the Cause of Pro-Life.

John was aged 94 years at the time of his death which occurred after a short illness. Throughout his long life he kept up to date with theology, homiletics and the other sciences appropriate to the fruitful exercise of his ministry. Even as late as July 1986 he was awarded a diploma from the Word of God Institute, Washington, DC, for completing successfully its program on preaching and liturgical celebration. In a way this was merely a continuation of interests and qualities which had been present all his life. As a young man at Fordham he was known for the quality of his presentation in public sessions and subsequently became a specialist in Elocution.

He is buried in the Mulvey Family Mausoleum in Mount Calvary Cemetery, Zanesville, USA.