Father Mulcahy seems like a good character to be profiling on Christmas Day. He was the chaplain for the 4077th. As a priest in an Army unit full of doctors and soldiers, he often felt inadequate – as if saving souls didn’t have any value as compared to saving lives. As such, on several occasions he performed super-hero acts such as bargaining with black marketers for medications, recovering stolen drugs while under sniper fire, performing a tracheotomy while Hawkeye coached him over a radio, and last but not least, risking his life (& going deaf) while trying to save enemy hostages stuck in a pen. In addition to being the camp’s resident priest, he exercises his talents as an amateur boxer and often talks about his sister the Sister who is back home.
When the Korean War ended, it seems that Father went back to his old parish in Philadelphia. While he was grateful to be home with his family, he kept thinking about all of his beloved orphans back in Korea. He decided to volunteer his services to an inner city orphanage in Philadelphia. In addition to trying to place those orphans in permanent homes, he also got involved with an international adoption agency that placed Korean children in homes in the United States. He never did see any of his “children” from his days in Korea, but he took solace in seeing the thankful eyes of the many Korean children he did help find a home. In addition to his services with children, he also got involved with the school for the deaf located in Philly.
As I mentioned, his rescuing efforts took the bulk of his hearing ability. While he did regain some of it with the help of some reconstructive surgery, he remained functionally deaf. Interestingly, he started a boxing program at the school for the deaf – in order to build up the confidence of the children. This program became nationally known and earned him many accolades. For a man who did not have a family of his own to keep him busy, he led a very full life.
Once he retired, he and his Sister sister got a condo together and continued to keep very active with his various interests. Fr Mulcahy plans to take his sister to the memorial dedication to meet all of the wonderful people he served with. He is absolutely thrilled to be part of the festivities!