Clinton Franciscan Sister receives national recognition

Sister Hilary Mullany smiles after Ashford Uni­versity in Clinton named The Hilary Mullany Theater in her honor in 2008.

Clinton Franciscan Sister Hilary Mullany was honored July 29 at the annual conference of the U.S. Franciscan Federation in Milwaukee.

Each year the federation invites members to nominate a Sister or Brother to be honored for a quality of their ministry that exemplifies the conference theme.

This year’s conference was entitled: “Becoming a Sacred Flame: Francis, Clare and John’s Gospel” and focused on how contemporary Franciscan life reflects its source in the Gospel of St. John. Thus, congregations were encouraged to nominate a person “who sparks enthusiasm for the Franciscan way of life; allows her ministry to be a light to the world; exemplifies a passion that ignites others for ministry; embodies the spirit of Francis and Clare of Assisi; lives the love expressed in the Gospel of John; lives as Word made Flesh, empowering others to achieve and exhibits a passionate love of life and people.”

The Clinton Franciscans chose Sr. Mullany based on her service to her congregation as vice president and liturgist. Most recently, she chaired the content committee for the Upper Mississippi River Valley (UMRV) display at the Women and Spirit: Catholic Sisters in America exhibit – the award-wining, national touring Smithsonian exhibit that was displayed in Dubuque this spring.  The UMRV display she developed continues at the Old Jail Museum, a division of the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque until Labor Day.


Sr. Mullany has worked as a high school and college speech and drama teacher, theater director and producer at the former Mount St. Clare Academy, now Prince of Peace Preparatory, and the former Mount St. Clare College, now Ashford University, Clinton.  She served as media director for the Davenport Diocese and worked with Franciscan Communi­ca­tions in Los Angeles. She serves as board member and actress with the Clinton Area Showboat Theater, having worked in community theater in Clinton for many years.  In 2008, Ashford University named The Hilary Mullany Theater in her honor.

She is a co-founder of SUN — Sisters United News of the Upper Mississippi Valley — a prototype for inter-congregational communications collaboration. She has written and recorded all of the radio and television ads SUN has produced. She has also written and produced in several venues a musical play on the life of St. Francis. In 2009, Sr. Mullany was named a Clinton YWCA Woman of Achievement.

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