The Italian Catholic Federation, Branch 392 presented Fr. Joseph A. Mulcrone with its Mother Cabrini Award on Nov. 6.
The following profile was provided by the organization.
The Reverend Joseph A. Mulcrone
Over the years, the Reverend Joseph A. Mulcrone has demonstrated faith, leadership and dedication in his work. His assistance to the deaf and disabled exemplifies the true spirit and humanity of St. Francis Xavier Cabrini. Like Mother Cabrini, Father Mulcrone (known as “Father Joe” to his friends) has touched hearts in the United States as well as many other countries. He is an individual to be admired for his continuous good works.
Joseph A. Mulcrone was born on November 24, 1945. He was the oldest of eight children born to Edward and Mary Frances Mulcrone. He grew up on the West Side of Chicago. He graduated from Resurrection Grammar School in 1959 and Quigley South Seminary in 1963, served his deacon year at St. Ferdinand Parish and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Chicago on May 11, 1971.
Father Joe’s brother, the Reverend Tom Mulcrone, is also a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Father Tom Mulcrone was the chaplain for the Chicago Fire Department for 30 years.
Father Joe’s first assignment was St. Nicholas Parish in Evanston. He then was in residence for two years at Christ the King Parish in Chicago. In August 1977, Cardinal Cody appointed him as full-time pastor for the deaf community in the Archdiocese of Chicago. (Father Joe’s dedication to and compassion for the deaf started at an early age as his maternal grandparents were deaf.) Since that appointment, Father Joe has continued to serve the deaf community. He has lived in residence at St. Francis Borgia Parish since 1983.
Throughout his career, Father Joe has worked for the betterment of persons with disabilities. He has served on the Board of Directors of Anixter Rehabilitation Center, Access Living of Chicago and the Pilsen Wellness Center, all of which are located in Chicago. Nationally, he has served on the boards of the National Catholic Office of the Deaf, the Ministry Formation Program for Deaf Persons and the Deaf Catholic Youth Initiative for the Americas.
His work has taken him to Mexico, Ecuador, Venezuela, Chile, Guatemala and recently to Panama. He has lectured around the United States and also at the Vatican, in 2010. He helped organize pilgrimages to the Vatican for deaf persons in 2008, 2009 and 2018.
While Father Joe will tell you that he does not have a drop of Italian blood, he absolutely loves to go to Italy. In fact, when we last visited with Father Joe, he was preparing to travel to Rome for meetings at the Vatican. While in Rome, he did not miss a chance to enjoy the city’s delicious food and wonderful gelato.
Father Joe continues to serve the deaf community in the Chicago area, providing spiritual assistance and helping those in need. He continues his work, seeing to the spiritual needs and well-being of the disabled, with dedication and compassion.