Jubilarian Profile: John Kull Marks Golden Anniversary of Profession

HNP Communications Friar News

This is the 15th in a series of profiles of HNP friars celebrating anniversaries of Franciscan profession in 2010. The last issue of HNP Today featured Miguel Loredo, OFM.

BUTLER, N.J. — John Kull, OFM,celebrated his 50th jubilee as a friar this summer, a rich ministry that has included work both at home and abroad.

John, who now lives at St. Anthony Friary in North Jersey, has worked in schools, missions and administration, in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Bolivia.

It’s not surprising that John joined the Franciscans, since his early education was at a Franciscan school. As a teen growing up in Lackawanna in Western New York, he attended Bishop Timon High School in Buffalo. Timon has a long history as a Franciscan-based high school, and John learned well from his teachers what it meant to be a Franciscan.

After high school graduation, he went on to St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., and then attended St. Francis College in Rye Beach, N.H., earning a degree from St. Bonaventure University in Allegany, N.Y. He completed theology studies at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C.

John’s first assignment in 1966 was at the friars’ shrine church in New Bedford, Mass. After less than a year there, he volunteered for the Province’s missions in Bolivia, where he studied at the Maryknoll Language School for a year. He later became a councilor of mission.

He returned to the United States in 1973, and served as the assistant pastor at St. Leo Church in Elmwood Park, N.J. From 1991 to 1999, he served as parochial vicar at St. Anne Church in Fair Lawn, N.J. Before moving to St. Anthony Friary in 2000, he spent a short time in residence at Queen of Peace Parish in Hewett, N.J.

John, who turned 71 in July, was among the 15 friars honored in June at the Province’s annual jubilee celebration in New York City.

— Wendy Healy is a frequent contributor to HNP Today. The next issue will feature Ronald Stark, OFM.