Conor Mullally, OFM
1913 – 2003
Fr. Conor Mullally, OFM, was born on Oct. 7, 1913, in Union City, N.J. He was a World War II veteran and a commercial artist before enrolling at St. Bonaventure College in Allegany, N.Y., where he studied philosophy for one year.
In 1947, he was received into the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., and professed his simple vows a year later. In 1951, Fr. Conor professed solemn vows and was ordained a priest in 1953 at Mt. St. Sepulchre in Washington, D.C.
Fr. Conor’s first assignment was to St. Anthony’s Guild in Paterson, N.J. He later served as a missionary in Puerto Rico for five years before going to Bolivia. He was a founding member of St. Anthony’s Missionary Province in Bolivia in 1984. He was characterized as a very special friar who lived very simply no matter where he was stationed.
He spent many of his vacations walking for a week or so through isolated areas in the Bolivian countryside, celebrating Eucharist, baptisms and marriages. Fr. Conor was always ready to celebrate the sacraments whenever the people needed them. It was not unusual for him to walk long distances alone to give people the consolation of the sacrament of the sick.
Fr. Conor was once attacked by a huge swarm of bees, and he was clever enough to pull his capuche up over his head and lay quietly on the ground until the bees left him. On another occasion, he walked away from an emergency landing plane crash on a trip from Mapiri to Teoponte. His one simple pleasure was smoking his pipe, and his vocabulary and anecdotes, epithets and slang were closer to the ‘30s and ‘40s than to the ‘80s and ‘90s. He was able to touch human hearts even with broken Spanish.
In 1998, Fr. Conor returned to the United States and retired to St. Anthony Residence in St. Petersburg, Fla. In 1999, he was moved to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., and he continued to grow in the love of the Lord for three more years.
He died Sept. 3, 2003, at Holy Name Friary. Fr. Conor was 89 years old, a professed friar for 55 years and a priest for 50 years.