From brotherhood to priesthood: Mons Mullins' remarkable journey

Mons Mullins with his mother and Pope John Paul II in 1982


At 89, Monsignor William Mullins, Process Instructor of the Archdiocese of Sydney, former official of the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome and Prelate of Honour to his Holiness, Pope John Paul II has led a remarkable life. Now, after constant urging from friends and the many people whose lives he has touched, Mons Mullins has documented his life and faith journey which began as a De La Salle schoolboy in Ashfield at the height of the Depression, reports the Catholic Archdiocese of Sydney.

"From Brotherhood to Priesthood: The Memoirs of Monsignor William A Mullins," which is published by Modotti Press was launched in Sydney today at the Polding Centre by the new Apostolic Nuncio to Australia, Liverpool-born Archbishop Paul Gallagher.

His Excellency the Archbishop said he was extremely honoured to be asked to launch Mons Mullins' memoirs, adding that the Holy See wanted to pay tribute to the octogenarian's past service in Rome where he had served the Holy See "so faithfully and so well."

The Nuncio, who arrived in Australia last month, described Mons Mullins' memoirs as an "interesting, edifying and very fine work." The focal point throughout the book was the Monsignor's discernment into the priesthood and its affirmation of the spiritual and abiding importance of a priestly vocation.

The book also offered a wonderful insight into the milestone events of the Catholic Church in Australia as well as an insight into life in the Curia where Mons Mullins served for more than 20 years from 1970 until 1990, Archbishop Gallagher said.

Not only did Mons Mullins serve under two Holy Fathers, first Pope Paul VI and then Pope John Paul II, but he worked with and knew all the leaders and luminaries of Vatican life at the time.

"He knew everyone who was worth knowing in Rome in his day," the Nuncio said adding Mons Mullins' memoirs gave fresh and vivid insights into such historical events in the history of the Australian Church as well as the Church of Rome.

His insider accounts of the Papal visits to Australia first by Pope Paul VI and later Pope John Paul II make fascinating reading. So too does Mons Mullins memory of the tumultuous emotions and shock at the assassination attempt on Pope John Paul II in St Peter's Square in 1981 during the time the Australian priest was serving in the Curia.

As powerful in the retelling are Mons Mullins' accounts of the joyousness of the canonisation in Rome in October 2010 of Australia's first Saint, St Mary of the cross MacKillop and what this meant not only to those in the Church and to Catholics but to all Australians.

FULL STORY From Brotherhood to Priesthood - Mons Mullins' Remarkable Journey (C-Mail)

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