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UPDATED
Editorial & Advertising Calendar 2002

June 19, 2002
Celebrating a half century in the Lord’s service


CLASSMATESEnjoying a luncheon given at the Archbishop’s residence for priests marking milestone anniversaries, are 50-year celebrants, left to right, Father Frank McNulty, Msgr. Martin O’Brien and Father Joseph Quinlan.

Father Frank J. McNulty
Father McNulty credits his enjoyment of his 50 years serving the Archdiocese to “unusually good assignments from beginning to end, and living with priests that I really admired. They were a tremendous inspiration to me all the way through my first assignment to my retirement.”

A graduate of Seton Hall University, Father McNulty attended Immaculate Conception Seminary when it was in Darlington. In his fourth year at the seminary, he was invited to attend Catholic University for the year and received a license in theology. He was ordained in St. Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral.

He served at Saint Aloysius Parish in Jersey City for nine years. He completed his work towards a Doctorate in Sacred Theology at Catholic University, Washington, D.C. in 1963, and joined the faculty of Immaculate Conception Seminary, where he taught moral and pastoral theology.

In 1979 he was named the first Vicar of Priests by Archbishop-Emeritus Peter Gerety, an assignment he described as “very rewarding, and the priests I ministered to were very affirming and grateful.”

Father McNulty was named Pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish in Roseland in 1986. He held that position until his retirement from active ministry in 1998.

Father McNulty resides in Saint Teresa of Avila Parish in Summit, and continues to run parish missions, priest retreats and workshops across the nation.

In 1987, Father McNulty was chosen by the National Council of Catholic Bishops (NCCB) to represent the priests of the U.S. in an address to Pope John Paul II in Florida.

“It was certainly an important moment in my life,” he said. “I worked very hard on the presentation, and tried very hard to stay honest in what I was saying while still keeping reverence to the Pope. Somehow I think I accomplished that, I hope.”

Father McNulty also wrote two books, “Invitation to Greatness” and “Should You Ever Feel Guilty,” produced several tapes for the National Catholic Reporter, was named Person of the Week by CBS for the week of Sept. 11, 1987, Citizen of the Year by UNICO in 1987, Alumnus of the Year by the Theological College, Washington D.C. in 1991, and received the National Federation of Priests Councils President’s Award in 1988.

Msgr. Martin F. O’Brien
Msgr. O’Brien noted that, while all his assignments varied, he was always working “in the ministry of people.”

A Hoboken native and Seton Hall University and Immaculate Conception Seminary graduate, Msgr. O’Brien was ordained at Saint Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral.

His first assignment was to Saint Thomas the Apostle Parish in Bloomfield, where he served for 16 years. During that time, he also served as Moderator of Essex County Religious Instruction for the Mentally Retarded Children for 12 years and as Chaplain of the Bloomfield Fire Department.

In 1968, Msgr. O’Brien was appointed the first Executive Secretary of the Priests Personnel Board.

“I was one of the original 12 members of the board,” he said, “and they decided to make me the Executive Secretary, which placed me in charge of the daily operations of the board and the office.”

He was then named assistant pastor of Saint Michael’s Parish in Palisades Park in 1973.

In 1976, he was named Pastor of Queen of Peace Parish in North Arlington, and he also served as Chaplain of the Sheedy Council of Alhambra.

He was named associate pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Haworth in 1978 and was later named Pastor of the parish in 1985. During his time at Sacred Heart, he also served on the rescue squad and as Chaplain of the Haworth Police Department.
Msgr. O’Brien was appointed Director of Field Education of Immaculate Conception Seminary in 1993.

“I was responsible for giving seminarians their various ministries outside the seminary, such as hospice or parish service,” he explained.

He was appointed Rector of the College Seminary of Immaculate Conception in 2000. He was also named to the Board of Trustees at Seton Hall University upon his appointment as Rector.

Msgr. O’Brien was named a Prelate of Honor by Pope John Paul II in 2001, with the title of Monsignor.

“I had just arrived to a Rachel’s Vineyard retreat, and someone told me Bishop Bootkoski was on the phone. I picked up the phone, and Bishop Bootkoski said, ‘Congratulations, the Holy Father has named you a Monsignor.’ It was completely unexpected, but definitely an honor to be named a Monsignor,” he noted.

He retired this year from active ministry.

Reflecting on his 50 years of service in the Archdiocese of Newark, Msgr. O’Brien said, “I was trained to be a parish priest, and even though all my assignments have not been parish assignments, I have been happy at the opportunity to still be able to work at a parish during those assignments.”

“I felt all my assignments were an opportunity to grow spiritually and pastorally,” he added.

He earned his Masters in Education and a Degree in Pastoral Counseling and Guidance from Iona College, and a Masters in Divinity from Seton Hall University. He has also served on the Priest Senate, as Religious Visitator for the Religious, and was the first Dean of Deanery 4 in Bergen County.

Msgr. O’Brien is serving as Spiritual Director for Retreats at Rachel’s Vineyard, a position he has held for the past three years. He is also a New Jersey-licensed marriage and family therapist, a certified domestic counselor, and a weekend assistant at Corpus Christi Parish in Hasbrouck Heights.

Father Joseph M. Quinlan
As he reflects on his 50 years as a priest, Father Quinlan notes, “They went too fast, but I enjoyed them all.”

A graduate of Seton Hall University and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Father Quinlan was ordained at Saint Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral.

His first assignment was to Saint Patrick’s Pro-Cathedral, where he served for 15 years.

“When I was at St. Patrick’s, we often spoke not just of parishioners, but of friends, and due to my service as a priest I met a lot of people that I would not have met, and maintained a lot of friendships,” Father Quinlan reflected.

He also noted that during his time at St. Patrick’s one of his converts to Catholicism, Patrick Wilhelm, became a priest.

Father Quinlan was assigned to Queen of Peace Parish, North Arlington in 1967. He later served as temporary administrator.

In 1977, Father Quinlan was named Pastor of Saint Mary’s Parish in Rahway, a position he held for 11 years before being named Pastor of Saint Cassian’s Parish in Upper Montclair.

Father Quinlan took a year sabbatical in 1991. Upon his return to service in the Archdiocese of Newark, he was named Administrator of Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Garfield, and was later named Pastor.

He also served on the Parish Assessment Committee, as chaplain of the North Bergen Knights of Columbus, as local chaplain of the Ancient Order of Hibernians (AOH) and Ladies’ AOH in Rahway, and as state chaplain of the AOH.

Father Quinlan retired from active ministry in the Archdiocese in 1995.

Father Quinlan compared the changes he saw in the church as going from “Saturday to Sunday, but I enjoyed the changes, saying Mass facing the congregation.”

He resides in Red Bank and serves as a weekend assistant at St. Leo the Great Parish in Lincroft.

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