Order of Premontre, Premonstratensians, Norbertines, and White Canons

R. D. Richard Mulroy, O. Praem.

Birth: November 3, 1915

Death: January 1, 2001

House: St. Norbert Abbey

Our brother Richard Mulroy was born in New London, Wisconsin in 1915, joined the Order in 1934, and was solemnly professed in 1939.  Known for his clever clichés and quick wit, he received a Master’s Degree from Marquette University in 1950 and then taught at St. Norbert, Central and Premontre High Schools, at the latter of which he was principal and house superior.

As house superior, Richard always insisted on putting the first 1000 miles on a new car to assure that it was broken in properly. His personal car was always housed in first stall of the garage; however, this would not work when he had to break in a new car. Hence, his announcement to the community: “Car 1 will be parked in stall 4, and car 4 will be parked in stall 3, and car 3 in stall 2, until the new car is properly broken in.” And with that he opened the garage door and backed out with the driver’s door open, thereby ripping off the door!

In 1959, as Secretary of the National Catholic Education Association in Washington, D.C., he served as coordinator of more than 2000 high schools across the country. In 1962 he was appointed Master of Professed and Director of Studies at the abbey and in 1964, founded Holy Spirit House of Studies in Chicago, where he served as superior.

Whenever he did not agree with a confrere, he would say:  “Go to your room!” and then begin tapping his finger!

After language studies at Catholic University of Puerto Rico, Richard became a missionary in Lima, Peru, where he served for 19 years among the indigent and imprisoned. While there, he established a personal friendship with Mother Teresa of Calcutta and became Chaplain to the Missionaries of Charity in Lima; many letters in the archives attest to their friendship.

Despite a chronic heart condition, Richard volunteered as a founding member of Santa Maria de la Vid Priory in Albuquerque, N.M., and ministered to the Hispanic people there until his retirement to the abbey.  He continued his service to Hispanics at St. Willibrord in Green Bay , until his death at age 80 on Monday, New Year's Day 2001.  

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