Death Notice: Monsignor Donal Mulcahy, Los Angeles and Annagloor

Mulcahy: California and late of Aunagloor, Millstreet. On Saturday June 15, 2019, peacefully, in Los Angeles, Monsignor Donal. Aged 94. Sadly missed by his sister Mary Frances (Howard), brothers Tom, Joe and David, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews, relatives and friends. May he rest in peace.
Memorial Mass on Saturday, June 22, at 10am in St. Mary’s Church, Newmarket. [RIP]

Celebration of Life – Monsignor Donal Mulcahy 1925 – 2019 
Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 11:00 a.m.
Our Lady of the Assumption Church
Reception to follow in the SBHS Athletic Center.
Our former Pastor, who was loved by all, is now side by side with the Lord. He was clearly very happy when he was·our Pastor, but after he retired and stayed with us at O.L.A., he said many times that he was now in the best time of his life because now he could truly focus on how to best serve the people. Please join us on Saturday as we celebrate his life. [Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Parish – Ventura

Monsignor Mulcahy’s funeral mass and burial will be next Saturday, June 21st at 11am, in Los Angeles. Details below.


A memorial mass for Monsignor Donal Mulcahy was also held last Monday morning (June 18th) in St.Patrick’s Church, Millstreet.


The Archdoicese of Los Angeles wrote: “Father Donal Mulcahy died Saturday, June 15, 2019. Fr. Mulcahy served the Archdiocese of Los Angeles from 1951 through his retirement in 2014. He was associate pastor at several churches, including Cathedral Chapel in Los Angeles and La Purisima Concepcion Church in Lompoc. He was also pastor at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Ventura.”


Garden of Eden?
(an extract from the 75th anniversary of the Camarillo Seminary)

… Monsignor Donal Mulcahy, 89, came to the seminary (St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, California) in 1947, leaving his native Ireland for a dry climate because of pleurisy, a lung condition. He was joined by about five other young men from Ireland, a group that offered “a sense of family support” in his class of 13 ? about average for the time, he said.

“It was a total contrast to Ireland,” Mulcahy said. “Oranges were ripe on the trees, the sun was shining all the time. I thought, ?Wherever the Garden of Eden is, it must be somewhere near here.’ ”

Mulcahy had attended a “junior seminary” in Ireland, a boarding school, because his small town didn’t have a high school. That atmosphere of daily Mass and theology classes planted the idea of going into the priesthood, he said.

“If there had been a local high school in my hometown, I might never have thought of it,” Mulcahy said.

Over the years, enrollment at St. John’s has swelled and declined, with one peak from the late 1950s into the early ’70s and another in the mid-1980s, when the seminary reached 140 students.

“It was more attractive then,” Hutton said. “Catholic culture was very strong. The idea of at least one son going into the priesthood was part of the idea of Catholic culture.

“Today we have smaller families, and a lot of mothers want grandkids.” [Ventura Star]


Watch Monsr. Mulcahy give a quick speech in the video below (Sept 30th 2012):

…I learned a long time ago that there’s no such thing as a bad two and a half minute sermon, especially on a hot evening … I have much to thankful to St. John’s Seminary for. I was three years out of the seminary with health problems in Ireland, and I was told my only hope to complete the seminary programme in theology was to go to a dry climate, and here I ended up at Camarillo St.John’s, and I though – what a contrast from the cold and rain in Ireland, and the sun shining here every day, and all the oranges ripening on the trees and all the rest of it. I thought the Garden of Eden must be somewhere around here. So anyhow, I’ve enjoyed my years here very very much, and I appreciate the kindness of priests and Bishops during those years, and I appreciate the kindness of the people in the parishes, so St. John’s has wonderful memories for me, which I always appreciate and which I always will appreciate for the rest of my life. Thank you very much 


In 2014 he was honoured for his service:

Monsignor Donal Mulcahy, one honoree, came to Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Ventura about 40 years ago.

“He is a wonderful parish priest. After all, the seminary exists to train parish priests who love and serve their people. He has touched the lives of so many people in powerful, wonderful ways.”

Mulcahy is retired now at age 87 and serves as pastor emeritus at Our Lady of the Assumption.

“I still help out hearing confessions and saying Mass. … I plan to continue doing these things as long as I can,” he said. [Ventura Star]


Monsignor Mulcahy (right) after mass in Kilcorney Church (where his sister Mary Frances lives) in 2010 during the visit of Cardinal Lavada.






The Mulcahy Centre was named after Donal in 2013. See photos of its opening here





Monsignor Donal Mulcahy

January 21, 1925 – June 15, 2019 Born in Aunagloor Millstreet, Co. Cork, Ireland, to Daniel & Ellen Corkery Mulcahy, he immigrated to Southern California in 1947 to enter St. John’s Seminary, Camarillo, CA. Donal was ordained to the priesthood on 5/19/1951 and his first assignment was to Cathedral Chapel Catholic Church in Los Angeles, where he met many lifelong friends. He later served at St. Basil’s Catholic Church and St. Vibiana Cathedral in Los Angeles, La Purisima Concepcion Parish in Santa Maria, and in 1972 became Pastor of Our Lady of Assumption Parish in Ventura where he served as Pastor until 1997, then Pastor Emeritus until 2014 when he relocated to the Nazareth House Retirement Community in Los Angeles. Monsignor Mulcahy served as a Judge on the Archdiocese Marriage Tribunal from 1973-1978, was named a Monsignor in 1978 and was invested as Chaplain of the Order of Malta in 1993. In May 2001, Monsignor celebrated his 50th year as a priest and in 2012 he was honored by Our Lady of Assumption Parish for his 40 years of service as well as being honored by St. John’s Seminary as a Distinguished Alumni. Monsignor enjoyed many years of golfing with his brother priests, parishioners and friends and upon retirement served as Chaplain on Crystal Cruise Ships for many years sailing on two world cruises and many shorter cruises sailing to ports all over the world. Monsignor is survived by his sister Mary Francis Howard, brothers Tom, Joe and David Mulcahy, 16 nieces and nephews, 43 grandnieces and -nephews and 5 great-grandnephews and -nieces, as well as loving friends Shirley Shanahan & family of Ventura, Gary & Beverly Herman & family of Los Angeles and his many dear friends at Our Lady of Assumption Parish, who continued to remember him with birthday, St. Patrick, Easter, Christmas and get well cards and phone calls. Monsignor was a very special man, a wonderful example of priesthood by his warm and friendly Irish charm and loved by all who knew him. Funeral Mass will be at 11 AM, Saturday, June 22nd, at Our Lady of Assumption Catholic Church in Ventura. Celebrants will include Archbishop Jose Gomez, Bishop Thomas Curry and OLA Pastor Father Leon Hutton. Immediately following the Mass the parish is hosting a reception. Interment to follow in the Priests Plot at Holy Cross Cemetery in Culver City.

Published in the Los Angeles Times from June 19 to June 21, 2019



In Memoriam

I first met Msgr. Donal Mulcahy, when as a young seminarian, I was invited to waiter a dinner at the rectory In Camarillo hosted by Msgr. John Hughes. The guest of honor that night was Cardinal Timothy Manning and many of the local priest friends of the Cardinal attended. My first reaction when I discovered who the guests were was one of terror and awe. These were the leaders of the local church and an impressive gathering of priests. As a lowly seminarian, I felt the weight of responsibility and feared that one mistake would not go unnoticed. When the clergy entered the dining room, I recall the laughter and ease by which these men engaged one another. Even Cardinal Manning, in his quiet demeanor, seemed at ease and yet the respect shown him by the others was most evident. After was introduced to everyone at the table, following the grace before dinner, my work began serving the salad to the priests. Msgr Mulcahy was most gracious each time I brought him his food. But what I remember most that day was his Irish accent, his laughter, and his gentleness. That night stories were shared about Ireland, the birthplace of many of the guests that night, and humorous events in parish life. Concentrating on my duties, I recall nothing of the details except the kindness and fellowship that these men shared.
After dinner was over and the prayer of thanksgiving was offered, the Irish priests retired to the pastor’s sitting room for a rousing game of cards known as 110. Before they left, Msgr. Mulcahy made a point of thanking me for waiting table and with his kind smile wished me well, letting me know that my pastor had spoken highly of me and my family. This I took as a good sign that someday I would be part of this great fraternity.
As the years have past, my friendship with Msgr. Mulcahy continued. His friendship with Msgr. Hughes allowed me to connect with him regularly at dinners, golf outings, and gatherings of priests. However, I could never master 110. His kindness, humor, and storytelling brought with it mutual respect and affection. He is a major reason that I am in here at Our Lady of the Assumption today. God bless you Msgr. Mulcahy for your pastoral leadership and priestly life and ministry.
Ad multos annos
Fr. Leon

from: Our Lady of the Assumption – Parish newsletter June 23rd 2019


Buried at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City, Los Angeles County, California, USA [Find a Grave]

2 thoughts on “Death Notice: Monsignor Donal Mulcahy, Los Angeles and Annagloor”

  1. May you rest in peace Monsignor Donal RIP.

    A wonderful legacy you leave behind.
    Sincere sympathy to Tom, Joe, David, Mary Frances and their families.

    Anne Marie and Mary Frances O Keeffe,
    your cousins in Newmarket

  2. Born a Mulcahy as a son to Lil And Dan
    He left Annagloor as a young man
    Ordained as a Catholic priest he lived for many years in Los Angeles in the U S of A
    From Millstreet in distance very far away

    He lived a successful life as success goes
    From a priest to a monsignor up the ranks he rose
    He lived to a good age ninety four years
    His passing in his Los Angeles parish left many in tears

    He did forego the chance of taking a wife
    And of fathering children to follow his calling in life
    For his religious beliefs great sacrifices by him were made
    For this from memory he does not deserve for to fade

    To Monsignor Donal Mulcahy credit is surely due
    To his higher self in life he was one who was true
    Selfless people one can say have become a rare breed
    And of his sort humanity of far more is in need

    Far from Annagloor where he first saw light of day
    He breathed his last in los Angeles in the U S of A
    A book on his life it would make a good read
    Since it was by good example in life he did lead.

    “Monsignor Donal Mulcahy” is by Francis Duggan

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