ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Alexius Mulrenan, OFM, 80, a professed Franciscan friar for 59 years and a priest for 53, died suddenly Feb. 7 at St. Anthony Friary.
A wake was held there on Feb. 10, with a Mass of Christian Burial immediately after. Provincial Minister John O’Connor, OFM, served as principal celebrant. Burial followed at Calvary Cemetery, Clearwater, Fla.
Born on March 1, 1933 in Melrose, Mass., to Dominic and Gertrude Mulrenan, Alexius was baptized Richard Arthur at St. Mary of the Annunciation Church in Melrose. He attended the parish school and Malden, Mass., Catholic High School, graduating in 1951. After deciding to pursue a Franciscan religious vocation, he attended St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., for two years.
He was received into the Order in 1953 at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., and given the religious name Alexius Joseph. He professed first vows there one year later. Alexius pursued philosophical studies at St. Francis College, Rye Beach, N.H., and theological studies at St. Anthony Friary, Butler, N.J., and Holy Name College, Washington. He professed final vows in 1957 at Christ the King Seminary, Allegany, N.Y., and was ordained in 1960 at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington.
His first assignment was to St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, where he stayed for a year of pastoral education. From 1961 to 1964, he ministered as parochial vicar at Assumption Parish in Wood-Ridge, N.J. Next, he served for two years as the Province’s assistant master of novices at St. Raphael Friary, Lafayette, N.J., before returning to parish work as parochial vicar of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Triangle, Va.
In 1972, Alexius went to St. Joseph Parish, Winsted, Conn., as an assistant and was appointed pastor in 1973. He moved to St. Patrick Friary, Buffalo, N.Y., where he served as guardian and director of formation from 1979 to 1982, and from 1982 to 1984 as director of Little Portion Friary, a local shelter. Alexius returned to Boston in 1984, serving as co-director of St. Francis House, a shelter for the homeless.
Due to increasing health difficulties, Alexius retired from active ministry in 1987, residing at various treatment facilities until 1994, when he moved to St. Anthony Friary, Butler. He remained there until 2000, moving next to St. Anthony Friary, St. Petersburg. Alexius devoted himself to domestic work within the friary in both locations and was able to keep up a limited ministry in the local area, especially with the poor.
Alexius is survived by his sister, Ruth McCoy. Condolences may be addressed to her at 1610 Stickney Point Rd., Apt. 202, Sarasota, FL 34321. Memorial donations may be sent to Franciscan Friars-Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd St., New York NY 10001.
— Compiled by Maria Hayes and Theresa Bartha