Harrington Maine- Reverend Antony Mullaney, affectionately called Father Tony, went home to God on May 31. He was born Joseph Patrick Mullaney in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts on July 24, 1929 to Irish immigrant parents - Patrick Joseph Mullaney and Mary Agnes Flynn. After his father died in the early forties, his family lost their house and moved to Worcester where they lived with relatives. Tony attended St. Peter High School and got a scholarship through his family's local parish to St. Anselm's College in New Hampshire.
While at St. Anselm's, Tony found his calling as a monk and joined the monastery at St. Anselm's Abbey in 1950. He was ordained a priest in May, 1956. The Abbey sent Tony to Fordham University to get a doctorate in psychology so that he could join the faculty at St. Anselm's. While working on his doctorate in New York City, he lived in the rectory at the parish near Fordham and became interested in Dorothy Day and the Catholic Worker movement which was very active in New York and which practiced a radical Catholicism based on peace and justice work, simple living and solidarity with the poor.
On receipt of his doctorate in 1962, he returned to St. Anselm's as a faculty member and was active as a teacher and as the director of guidance. He supported student groups at the college that were becoming involved in the civil rights movement in the early sixties. He arranged for Dr. Martin Luther King and Dorothy Day to come speak at the college. Devotion to the teachings of Jesus and to working for peace were the driving forces in Tony's life. He was a monk, a priest, a psychologist and a teacher of Christian Spirituality.
During the Vietnam War, he had an increasing awareness of the cost that Black Americans were paying due to inequalities in the draft and educational opportunities. In 1968, while working in a Black parish in Roxbury, Massachusetts, Tony found common calling with thirteen other clergy and lay people to carry out civil disobedience in protest of the war, in particular the draft system. With his fellow activists, he stole and burned thousands of draft records in Milwaukee in public witness to his faith. When the police arrived to arrest the participants in that action on Sept 14, Tony was standing in the circle of participants, reading from the Bible. Following their trial, Tony served in prison for over a year. Marquette University has archived the writings and court proceedings of the Milwaukee Fourteen, including Tony's faith-based testimony.
When he was released from prison, Tony continued his peace work. He taught at Emmanuel College and was chaplain at Regis College. He was a staff member at the Mobilization for Survival, an anti-nuclear group. He worked with the American Friends Service Committee, and was a member of the Clamshell Alliance. He co-founded an ecumenical community of lay people with their families, and clergy in Stoughton, Massachusetts. Tony was a firm believer in living Jesus' message, making visible what is in the heart. At Packard Manse, the community members made that their central purpose. They lived cooperatively-- sharing resources, the chores of daily life, care for the children, prayer life and peace activism. Tony lived there for 25 years until the children were grown and the community was changing. In 1998, at the suggestion of a friend, he moved to Downeast Maine.
In recent years he served St. Michael's Church in Cherryfield, which became his beloved spiritual family. Throughout his life he worked for Peace, Justice and Human Rights. His generous love shaped every aspect of his life. In his last years, when he was not able to be as physically active, Tony was faithful to the life of prayer that had always sustained him, continuing to follow the Benedictine daily prayers from his time at St. Anselm's Abbey so many years ago.
Tony leaves a family of nieces and nephews in Massachusetts, his St. Michael's family, along with a community of loving friends in Massachusetts, Maine and beyond. He is remembered as a life- giving man, devoted always to Jesus' teaching of nonviolence, filled with goodness and holiness.
A funeral mass will be offered at St. Michael's Church in Cherryfield, Maine on Tuesday, June 20, at 10 AM, followed by the burial of ashes at the Evergreen Cemetery in Milbridge, Maine.
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