Ambrose A. Mullen, O.S.A.

1827 – 1876 (July 7)

Ambrose Augustine Mullen was born in Connecticut on April 12, 1827, to Michael Mullen and Elizabeth Kain. He was the younger brother of Edward Michael Mullen, also a member of our Province, and was sent with him to enter the novitiate in Tolentino, Italy, in 1843. Following their profession of vows they pursued theological studies in Perugia, and four years later returned to the United States. Ambrose was ordained to the priesthood at Saint Augustine Church, Philadelphia, PA by Bishop Gartland of Savannah on December 7, 1850. 

After ordination he taught at Villanova, which he had already been doing since his return from Italy, and held several academic posts. In 1857 he was assigned to Saint Augustine’s in Philadelphia, and in June, 1861, to Lawrence, Mass. In 1865, the friars decided to re-open Villanova College after having closed it during troubled times in 1857, and Father Ambrose was called to become President and prior. Though a strict disciplinarian, he was popular with students. He was adept at sports, talented in music and an excellent teacher of English. He served as President until 1869, when, in declining health, he was appointed to Saint Augustine Parish, Andover, Mass. 

Father Ambrose Mullen died in Andover on July 7, 1876 at the age of 49, after some weeks of considerable suffering. The Funeral Mass was celebrated at Saint Mary’s Church in Lawrence on Tuesday, July 11th, attended by a large gathering of clergy and laity. Father J. McGrath, O.M.I. of Lowell was homilist at the conclusion of the Mass. Father Ambrose is buried in Saint Mary’s Cemetery in Lawrence.