At 95, Monsignor William Mullins is the oldest priest in the Archdiocese of Sydney, and there’s no sign of his hanging up his priestly vestments.
As Catholic Weekly reports, the Australian priest has received a lot of fulfillment in his vocation, sharing that he “spent many happy years” working with Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II at the Congregation for Catholic Education in Rome. And the clergyman also had great pleasure studying with eminent Scripture scholars at the Catholic University of America at Washington, DC.
Mgr. Mullins has also given much-needed support to men who have chosen to leave the priesthood, but whose faith remains an important part of their life. He also shared how hearing confessions at St. Mary’s Cathedral was “at times a very demanding ministry but also a very consoling one.”
However, in the last few decades of his life — when most people would have retired — the monsignor has primarily remained in the chancery in his Sydney archdiocese where he’s been working part-time. But he’s also been kept busy celebrating Mass every day.
While Mgr. Mullins is very grateful to his family, friends and his spiritual life before joining the priesthood, he has one great love in his life. As Catholic Weekly reported: “The Scriptures, which inspire his prayer life through the Divine Office and in Masses, are the love of his life.“
His hard work and devotion have been recognized by Sydney’s archbishop, Anthony Fisher, OP, who recognized his as “an inspirational priest” and that “the Church in Australia has been truly blessed by priests of his caliber.”
You might ask how Mgr. Mullins has found the energy to continue his priestly duties, but he says it stems from his upbringing, and the fact that as a priest he made a vow to his bishop to obey him. So when the bishop asked him to work part-time, he didn’t have much choice! As he said, “he was raised to do as he was told.”
While the two popes he worked alongside have since become saints, the Australian cleric hopes their time together might have rubbed off on him. And while he might not actually make it to sainthood, the fact he is still willing to work at the grand age of 95 for the good of others definitely makes him an earthly saint!