NEW YORK — June 12, 2014 — The Very Rev. Kevin Mullen, OFM, president of Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., was elected last week to lead the Franciscan friars of Holy Name Province. He will serve as the 16th provincial minister of the 110-year-old community with ministries along the East Coast and overseas.
As provincial minister, Fr. Mullen will oversee the long-range planning and day-to-day operations of the province and its more than 300 friars. He will also serve as the province’s representative in the greater Franciscan Order and the Roman Catholic Church. He succeeds the Very Rev. John O’Connor, OFM, who led the friars from 2005 to 2014.
To accept the position, Fr. Mullen will resign as president of Siena College, a job he has held since 2007, effective August 4. After Fr. Mullen’s election as provincial minister on June 4, Siena’s board of trustees announced that Siena trustee and St. Bonaventure University vice president for Franciscan mission, Br. F. Edward Coughlin, OFM, will become Siena’s interim president. Holy Name Province sponsors both Siena College and St. Bonaventure University, located in Allegany, N.Y.
Fr. Mullen brings extensive administrative and leadership experience to his new position. Prior to serving as president of Siena, Fr. Mullen was guardian — or supervisor — of the friar community on campus, as well as director of the college’s Franciscan Center for Service and Advocacy, from 2005 to 2007. He also served on the college’s board of trustees from 1987 to 1996 and 1999 to 2005. Before coming to Siena, Fr. Mullen was pastor of St. Leo’s Parish in Elmwood Park, N.J., from 1999 to 2005.
From 1990 to 1999, Fr. Mullen led St. Anthony Shrine in downtown Boston, one of the province’s largest ministries, as director and guardian. He also chaired the board of directors of St. Francis House, recognized by Boston’s business and religious leaders as a model for providing services to the homeless and marginalized.
He was a member of the faculty of Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, N.Y., from 1987 to 1990 while also serving on the ethics committee of Sisters’ Hospital in Buffalo, N.Y. Fr. Mullen has also taught at Pope John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Mass., Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass., Emmanuel College in Boston, Felician College in Lodi, N.J., the Franciscan Institute at St. Bonaventure University, and the Washington Theological Union.
Fr. Mullen also served for 18 years on Holy Name’s Provincial Council, which advises and makes decisions with the Provincial administration.
A native of Paterson, N.J., Fr. Mullen grew up several blocks from St. Bonaventure Friary where Holy Name Province once had a program for friars-in-training. After earning a bachelor’s degree from Siena College in 1975, Fr. Mullen was received into the Franciscan Order. He was ordained a priest in 1980. In addition to his degree from Siena, Fr. Mullen holds a master’s of divinity degree from Washington Theological Union and a doctorate from The Catholic University of America, Washington.