Hello! This weekend you will be meeting your new parochial vicar: me! St. Francis de Sales parish has warmly welcomed me on other occasions: first as a seminarian (September 2014-May 2015), then as a newly ordained priest (June 2016), and now as your new parish priest. I am so happy and eager to reconnect with you and to serve God in such a vibrant faith family!
For those who have not met me, I would like to give a bit of my background. I was born in 1966, and raised in Sacred Heart Parish, Wadsworth, Ohio, with my loving family, parents Paul and Bonnie Mulhollan (married 61+ years!), and my two sisters, Jacqueline Wallace and Julie Wagner. I have four nieces and nephews (and a “nephew-in-law”) of whom I am very proud! I attended Highland High School and graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Finance and the OSU Moritz College of Law. I practiced as a corporate/health care attorney with Baker Hostetler (including several Catholic client organizations), while remaining active in my parish and discerning God’s call in my life. My vocation story is too long for this article! Just know that if one keeps one’s heart open to God’s voice, He speaks in many ways and during different times and seasons. In His wisdom, over time, God lays out for each of us a unique pathway to Heaven. Our paths include love and loss, happiness and pain, work and fun, trials and triumphs, but mostly joy! I love being a priest and using my life experiences and priestly skills to help ordinary people move forward in faith, hope and love. I thank God for my vocation and for the many prayers and support of folks like you.
As I settle in, please know that I will make every effort to be present to all of you. My goal is to help others experience the joy of encountering Christ, mainly through the Word of God and the Sacraments, but also in our community of love, service, and friendship. Like the parable of the mustard seed in this Sunday’s Gospel, when we work together to sow the seeds of the Kingdom, God’s grace makes great things happen! With God, all things are possible! Thank you for your faith, prayers and greetings -- and God bless you!
Father John Mulhollan