The eldest priest in the Archdiocese of Sydney, Monsignor William Mullins, recently turned 95 and is still working for the Church he loves.
The former board member of The Catholic Weekly “spent many happy years” working alongside two popes in the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome—St Pope Paul VI and St Pope John Paul II. Another highlight of his life was studying under leading scripture scholars at Catholic University of America at Washington DC.
For the last 30 years the indefatigable monsignor has carried out his priestly ministry in Sydney, mostly based at the archdiocesan chancery where he is still works part-time and celebrates week-day Masses.
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He has provided pastoral support for men who have left priestly life and wish to continue practicing their faith, and also regularly heard reconciliations at St Mary’s Cathedral—a mission of mercy which he says is “at times a very demanding ministry but also a very consoling one”.
Mons Mullins said he has been blessed with wonderful family and friends and cherishes the formation and the community life he experienced as a De La Salle Brother before he joined the priesthood. The Scriptures, which inspire his prayer life through the Divine Office and in Masses, are the love of his life, he said.
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Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP praised the monsignor as “an inspirational priest”.
“The Church in Australia has been truly blessed by priests of his calibre,” he said.
Monsignor Mullins said he owes his amazing work ethic to his upbringing, along with his priestly vow of obedience to his bishop who asked him to continue part-time. “I was raised to do as I was told,” he laughed.
He is also very pleased to know the two popes he worked under are both saints.
“I hope some of it rubs off onto me sometimes,” he said.