Two Friars — Frederic Musser, Emmett Mulligan — Die

Jocelyn Thomas In the Headlines

The Province mourns the recent deaths of Frederic Musser and Emmett Mulligan.

Frederic, a professed Franciscan friar for 61 years, died March 3 at St. Anthony Residence in Boston, Mass. Frederic was born on Dec. 27, 1924 to Benjamin and Helen (nee Laning) Musser, in Atlantic City, N.J.  He was baptized on Jan. 3, 1925 at St. Vincent de Paul’s Church, Mays Landing, N.J.  He attended Linton Hall Military School, Bristow, Va., and was graduated in 1942 from Mt. St. Charles Academy, Woonsocket, R.I.

Frederic was invested as a Tertiary Brother on Sept. 7,1942 by Harold Blake,and received into the Franciscan Order on Aug. 12, 1944, at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J. On Aug. 14, 1945, he professed first vows there. On Aug. 17, 1948, he professed final vows at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C., before. Bertrand Campbell.  While in Paterson, he served as sandal maker until 1950. He then volunteered for the Brazilian mission, where he served until 1973.

When he returned to the States, he assumed the duties of porter and sacristan at St. Francis of Assisi Church on West 31st Street in New York City. From 1975 to 1976, he worked the front desk of Our Lady’s Chapel in New Bedford, Mass. He was then re-assigned temporarily to St. Francis of Assisi Church in New York City. From 1977 until 2002, he was sacristan at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, Mass. On Sept. 24, 2002, he retired to St. Anthony Residence in Boston.

The Wake service was held on March 5 at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston at which guardian and director David Convertino presided and Reginald Redlon gave the eulogy. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated the next day at St. Anthony Shrine. Provincial Vicar Dominic Monti served as principal celebrant, and Donan McGovern, preached the homily. Burial followed at St. Joseph Cemetery, West Roxbury, Mass.

Frederic’s brother, Benjamin, survives him. Condolences may be sent to 24-08 Arcadia Road, Fair Lawn NJ 07410, survives him..

Emmett, who was a professed friar for 59 years and a priest for 54 years, died on March 6 at Holy Name Friary, Ringwood, N.J.

Emmett was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Jan. 28, 1923, to John and Kathryn (nee MacDonald) Mulligan. He was baptized John in Holy Family Church, 13th Street, Brooklyn, on Feb. 11, 1923. He attended Holy Family School; James Madison High School, Brooklyn; Seton Hall College (University) in South Orange, N.J. (1941 to 1943), and St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y. (1943-1946).

On Aug. 12, 1946, he was received into the Franciscan Order at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., and professed first vows there on Aug.  13, 1947, both before Bertrand Campbell.  He professed solemn vows on Sept.  17, 1950, at Holy Name College, Washington, D.C., before Thomas Plassmann. He did the philosophical studies at St. Stephen Friary, Croghan, N.Y., and St. Anthony Friary, Butler, N.J., and theology at Holy Name College before being ordained a priest in Mount St. Sepulchre Friary church, Washington, D.C., by Archbishop Amleto G. Cicognani, the Apostolic Delegate, on June 28, 1952.

Emmett’s first assignment was Associate (1953-1957) at St. Anthony Shrine, Boston. He  also  served as United States Navy, Chaplain (1957-1963); Associate (1963-1971) at St. Francis Chapel, Providence, R.I.; Chaplain (1971-2003) at St. Mary’s Hospital, West Palm Beach, Fla.; retired to St. Anthony’s Friary, St. Petersburg, Fla., in 2003 and in  2004 he  moved to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood.

The Wake Service was held on March 7 at Holy Name Friary, Cortona Chapel in Ringwood, and was followed by the Mass of Christian Burial the next day. Interment followed at God’s Acre Cemetery, Ringwood.

Emmett is survived by his niece, Deborah Keller. Personal expression of sympathy can be sent to her at 23 Spaulding Place, Monmouth Beach NJ 07750.