Monday, February 4th, 2013
Fr. Bernard J. Mullen, 90, of the Kansas City Province of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood died Feb. 1, 2013, at St. Charles Center in Carthagena.
He was born Jan. 13, 1923, in Indianapolis, Ind., to Hugh J. and Lucille (Siersdorfer) Mullen. He entered Brunnerdale Seminary, Canton, in September 1936 and made Temporary Incorporation on Dec. 3, 1943, at St. Charles Seminary in Carthagena. He was definitively incorporated as a Missionary of the Precious Blood on Dec. 3, 1946, and ordained May 16, 1948.
He is survived by two brothers, Robert Mullen of Dayton, and Fr. Charles Mullen, who lives at St. Charles Center in Carthagena, and one sister, Joan Panzenbeck of Long Island, N.Y.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Hugh and Lucille, and a brother and sister, both of whom were members of Precious Blood congregations, Brother Andy Mullen of the Cincinnati Province, and Sister M. Agnes Christine Mullen of the Sisters of the Precious Blood, Dayton.
His ministry as a missionary was long and diverse as he served in parishes as a chaplain and teacher and in retreat and renewal ministry. His first assignment was in Ottawa as parochial vicar of Sts. Peter and Paul parish. In 1951, he was assigned to St. Paul Parish in Marion, Ind., where he served three years as parochial vicar. Part of his ministry in Marion was to host a local radio program for which he wrote weekly reflections based on scripture stories and the meaning of various Catholic feasts.
His reflections on radio must have attracted the attention of his religious superiors because in 1954 he was assigned to the Precious Blood Mission Band. For the next five years, he lived at the Mission House at St. Anthony Parish in Detroit, Mich., and preached retreats and missions around the country.
He received a master's degree in philosophy from Marquette University in Milwaukee and embarked on a ministry of teaching. In 1959, he was assigned as chaplain for the school and Motherhouse of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Mequon, Wis. After seven years in Mequon, he moved to Chicago in 1966, where he spent one year as chaplain and instructor at the Academy of Our Lady. He continued teaching in Wichita, Kan., from 1967-71 as philosophy instructor at what was then known as Sacred Heart College (Kansas Newman University).
He returned to parish ministry in 1971, when he was assigned as pastor of St. Luke Parish in Noonan, N.D. In 1973, he moved to Tipton, Mo., where he served as pastor of St. Andrew parish until 1981.
In 1981, he became temporary administrator of St. John the Baptist Church in Rib Lake, Wis., for a brief time before becoming pastor of Precious Blood Parish in Glidden, Wis., where he served for 14 years.
On Aug. 1, 1995, he began his final assignment in parochial ministry when he became pastor of Annunciation Parish in Frankfort, Kan., with missions at St. Elizabeth Church in Blue Rapids, Kan., and St. Monica Church in Waterville, Kan. He celebrated his 50th Anniversary of Priesthood at Annunciation Church in Frankfort on May 17, 1998.
In the summer of 1999, he retired to Precious Blood Center in Liberty, Mo. He helped with sacramental ministry in the diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph until he moved to St. Charles Center in Carthagena on May 25, 2007.
He was an avid reader which helped to shape what his brother, Fr. Charles Mullen, described as an "elegant and poetic style" of writing. "He was good with words," Fr. Charles said, and very faithful in writing letters, especially to members of his family. He enjoyed music, beginning as an organist when he was a student at Brunnerdale Seminary. In addition to playing the organ and piano, he played the violin.
Calling is 1-5 and 7-9 p.m. Tuesday at St. Charles Center, where a wake service will be at 7 p.m.
Mass of Christian Burial is 2 p.m. Wednesday at St. Charles, with Rev. Joseph Nassal, provincial director, presiding. Fr. Mullen will be preaching. Burial will follow at St. Charles Cemetery.
May he rest in God's gracious peace.
Hogenkamp Funeral Home, St. Henry, is handling the arrangements.
Condolences may be left at hogenkampfh.com.
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