Fr. Dennis Mullen receives the Jessing Alumnus of the Year Award from the Very Rev. Steven P. Beseau, rector and president of the Pontifical College Josephinum. (Submitted photo)

The Pontifical College Josephinum seminary in Columbus, Ohio, is pleased to announce that the recipient of its 2021 Jessing Alumnus of the Year Award is Fr. Dennis Mullen, a retired priest of the Diocese of Superior and an alumnus of the Ordination Class of 1970.

Fr. Mullen has been connected with the Josephinum for 63 years, having arrived as a young high school student in 1958. Following completion of high school, college and graduate theological study, Fr. Mullen graduated on June 7, 1970.

“As a seminarian, Fr. Mullen was highly respected by his classmates,” said Michael Fry, Josephinum Alumni Liaison. “He was elected president of the student body and was known as a serious and zealous student.”

As the years passed, Fr. Mullen remained dedicated to his alma mater, returning many times for reunions and personal visits. In the early 2000s, many of those visits included assisting with the cataloging of the Josephinum stamp collection, a collection that he had helped organize decades before as a seminarian.

In his many years of ordained ministry, Fr. Mullen served the Diocese of Superior as vocation director, director of the permanent diaconate program, nursing home chaplain, and pastor to several parishes. He was state chaplain for the Wisconsin Knights of Columbus and was a faithful attendee of the Knights’ national meetings. A most profound gift to the Knights and to the Church was his work in initiating and supporting an adoption fund with a local Knights Council.

“Fr. Dennis Mullen, it is with great pride that the Pontifical College Josephinum recognizes you as this year’s ordained recipient of the Jessing Alumnus of the Year Award,” said Fry.

The Jessing Alumnus of the Year Award is named for Msgr. Joseph Jessing, a German immigrant priest who founded the Josephinum in 1888. Recipients are selected annually from nominations submitted by alumni; honorees are recognized for their service to the church and community, and for their support of the Josephinum and its mission in the spirit of Msgr. Jessing. Fr. Mullen was present to receive the award from the rector and president, the Very Rev. Steven P. Beseau, at the Josephinum’s annual reunion celebration on Sept. 30.