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Father Bernard J. Mullen, C.PP.S. of the Kansas City Province of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood died on Friday, February 1, 2013 at St. Charles Center in Carthagena, OH. He was 90 years old.
Father Bernie was born in Indianapolis, Indiana on January 13, 1923 to Hugh J. and Lucille (Siersdorfer) Mullen. He entered Brunnerdale Seminary in Canton, OH in September, 1936 and made Temporary Incorporation on December 3, 1943 at St. Charles Seminary in Carthagena. He was Definitively Incorporated as a Missionary of the Precious Blood three years later on December 3, 1946 and Ordained to the Priesthood on May 16, 1948.
Father Mullen's ministry as a Precious Blood missionary was long and diverse as he served in parishes, as a chaplain and teacher, and in retreat and renewal ministry. His first assignment after ordination in 1948 was in Ottawa, OH as parochial vicar of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish. In 1951, he was assigned to St. Paul Parish in Marion, IN where he served for 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 Father Bernard was assigned to the Precious Blood Mission Band. For the next five years, Father Mullen lived at the Mission House at St. Anthony Parish in Detroit, MI and preached retreats and missions around the country.
Father Bernie received an M.A. degree in Philosophy from Marquette University in Milwaukee and embarked on a ministry of teaching. In 1959, Father Mullen was assigned as chaplain for the school and Motherhouse of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Mequon, WI. After seven years in Mequon, Father Mullen moved to Chicago, IL in 1966 where he spent one year as chaplain and instructor at the Academy of Our Lady. Father Mullen continued his teaching ministry in Wichita, KS from 1967-71 as Philosophy instructor at what was then known as Sacred Heart College (Kansas Newman University).
Father Mullen returned to parish ministry in 1971 when he was assigned as pastor of St. Luke Parish in Noonan, ND. In 1973, Father Bernard moved to Tipton, MO where he served as pastor of St. Andrew Parish until 1981. Father Mullen moved north in the summer of 1981 to become temporary administrator of St. John the Baptist Church in Rib Lake, WI for a brief time before becoming pastor of Precious Blood Parish in Glidden, WI where he served for the next fourteen years.
On August 1, 1995, Father Bernie began his final assignment in parochial ministry when he became pastor of Annunciation Parish in Frankfort, KS, with Missions at St. Elizabeth Church in Blue Rapids, KS and St. Monica Church in Waterville, KS. Father Bernard celebrated his 50th Anniversary of Priesthood at Annunciation Church in Frankfort on May 17, 1998.
In the summer of 1999, Father Mullen 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, OH on May 25, 2007, where he lived until his death.
Father Bernie was an avid reader which helped to shape what his brother, Father Charles Mullen, C.PP.S., described as an "elegant and poetic style" of writing. "He was good with words," Father 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, Father Bernie played the violin.
Father Mullen is survived by two brothers, Robert Mullen of Dayton, OH, and Father Charles Mullen, C.PP.S., who lives at St. Charles Center in Carthagena, OH; and one sister, Joan Panzenbeck of Long Island, NY. 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, C.PP.S., of the Cincinnati Province, and Sister M. Agnes Christine Mullen, C.PP.S., of the Sisters of the Precious Blood, Dayton, OH.
Visitation will be at St. Charles Center on Tuesday, February 5, with a wake service at 7:00 PM. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, February 6 at St. Charles, with Rev. Joseph Nassal, C.PP.S., provincial director, presiding, and Father Bernard's brother, Father Charles Mullen, C.PP.S., 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.
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