On January 15, 1994, while she was praying before the Blessed Sacrament in adoration at a retreat, Marion Mulhall received her vocation. This vocation was and still is “to promote the priesthood at any price, to use my skills and experience in advertising for the good of the Church,” Ms Mulhall tells The Irish Catholic.
It was after Pope John Paul’s announcement that the Worldpriest Global Apostolate was founded and it quickly grew in size”
The fruits of this call are many. A lay Carmelite with a strong devotion to the mystics, Ms Mulhall is also the founder and CEO of Worldpriest Global Apostolate, a lay organisation of professional communications people formed in 2003 to “affirm the dignity, beauty and gift of the priesthood of Jesus Christ to humanity”. When asked about the work she has done, Ms Mulhall says that it is simply about “faithfulness to a vocation”.
“If you were to say to me to sum it up in one word, it’s faithfulness,” she continues. “I had been working as an entrepreneur very successfully in advertising for 25 years before receiving my call in 1994. I then started calling around to people and setting the wheels in motion. We quickly began to pick up pace and interest grew.
“At the time, it struck me that we didn’t have a dedicated day of prayer for the sanctification of our priests. This was something we spent a great deal of time hoping and praying for. Then, only a few years later in 2002, Pope John Paul II declared that the Feast of the Sacred Heart would also be dedicated as a day of prayer for our priests. It made all our waiting and prayers worthwhile.”
It was after Pope John Paul’s announcement that the Worldpriest Global Apostolate was founded and it quickly grew in size. She and her team at Worldpriest then went on to develop and organise the Annual Global Rosary Relay for the Sanctification Priests, one of the Church’s largest global prayer gatherings. On one day every year, each of the participating prayer locations prays a particular mystery of the Rosary at an allocated time in thanksgiving to God for our priests and to implore the protection and care of Our Lady, Mother of all priests, for all her priestly sons.
Ms Mulhall says there’s always been a great symmetry to her life, which confirms to her the provenance of her call”
The idea for this global rally was an “inspired gift” which came to Ms Mulhall in 2011: “The gifted inspiration that I received from Our Lady was 20 countries, 20 mysteries,” Ms Mulhall explains. “Now, the meaning of that is pretty clear. It is the decades of the rosary. The day really belongs to Our Lady. It is her rosary, her mysteries, her priests – and priests are really touched by it.”
The Worldpriest organisation and the Global Rosary Rally are external signs of Ms Mulhall’s personal faith, she says. From a very young age, she had a strong attachment to the Faith, one which was nourished by her parents.
“Oh, they were great people,” Ms Mulhall says. “They were great people of faith themselves and helped me to grow and encouraged my faith. I was only thinking about this recently, that from when I was a young tot, the Faith has been important to me. Even at the age of three, I had a very strong attachment to St Aloysius Gonzaga. I treated him like a personal friend, even more so than a saint. My parents told me I was always talking about him, and that I even asked them why I wasn’t called Aloysius!”
Ms Mulhall doesn’t know where her attachment to St Aloysius could have come from, but she knows that an early blessing when she was just two days old from ‘The Rosary Priest’ – Ven. Fr Patrick Peyton – has had a major impact on the shape of her life. Ms Mulhall says there’s always been a “great symmetry” to her life, which confirms to her the provenance of her call.
“I always say that it was like having two baptisms,” Ms Mulhall says. “I can’t have been baptised when he blessed me, I was so young. Later, just five years ago in fact, I met Pope Francis and that day just happened to be the anniversary of Fr Peyton’s death and a Thursday as well. Thursday is the day we dedicate every month to the global rosary rally. Isn’t that an amazing thing?”
Global Rosary Rally
Although the Global Rosary Rally already spans almost the entire globe, Ms Mulhall always believes that it can continue to grow. For her own part, she says she “will never stop, every day I only get worse”.
“I believe I have been gifted and called to this vocation and all I can do is respond to it in faithfulness. I’m always looking for a new idea, a new way. But when you see beautiful priests coming together and praying with people over Zoom, I do think, can it get better than this,” Ms Mulhall concludes by saying.
The annual rally will take place on June 11 this year, when the world will join in praying the Rosary for the sanctification of all priests the world over. This year, the relay is devoted to the intentions of Pope Francis and will be led by Fr Willy Raymond CSC, president of Holy Cross Family ministries, which was founded by Ven. Fr Patrick Peyton. For more information about the relay and about the Worldpriest Global Apostolate or if you would like to support their mission by donating, visit www.worldpriest.com.