FATHER MICHAEL A. MULCAIRE, C.S.C. (1894-1964)

VP UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME

Michael Mulcaire was born in Limerick, Ireland one of ten brothers and sisters. He began studies for Holy Cross ordination in 1909 as a member of the Little Seminary on the Notre Dame campus being ordained in 1922.  His first assignment was as the Assistant Superior of Moreau Seminary from 1923-24.

In addition to his 1917 Notre Dame degree, he held a Ph.D. in economics from Catholic University in 1923.  He taught economics at Notre Dame from 1924-through 1933 and was the head of the department of Economics and Politics. He also served on the Faculty Board in Control of Athletics from 1928 to 1933.  It was Father Mulcaire who received the first word of the death of Knute Rockne in a Kansas plane crash in March of 1931. For two years, 1928-1930, he was the coach of the varsity negative and affirmative Notre Dame debate teams.  Known for his zeal for debate and his scholarship as both an economist and political science professor, the team members considered him to be their finest coach.  From 1933 to 1945 he taught at the University of Portland, and he served as Vice President of both the University of Notre Dame and the University of Portland. In 1955 he was appointed the assistant chaplain for the Brothers at Columba Hall and at the Community Infirmary.  His death in Holy Cross House in 1964 was unexpected from a massive heart attack. His funeral Mass was offered by his brother Father James Mulcaire, the pastor of St. Peter’s Church in South Beloit, IL.

Kindness and community spirit were characteristics of Father Mulcaire.  At Holy Cross House he said Mass every day at 10:00 AM for those who were unable to offer Mass themselves, and he volunteered to man the switchboard in the evenings, relieving the Brothers to attend to other duties. He was a voracious reader, a habit that helped to make him a pleasant and interesting conversationalist. 

Father Mulcaire belonged to a legendary CSC family.  He had three sisters who were Holy Cross nuns: Miriam Gertrude, Maria Gemma, and Aloysia Marie. There were 18 other female family members who were Holy Cross sisters.  His aunt, Sister Aloysius Mulcaire, was the first Sister of the Holy Cross to work with Father Sorin’s Minims. 

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