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Mullany, Patrick F. (Azarias of the Cross FSC)

 Collection — Box: 1-12
Identifier: NY-410-0045

Scope and Contents

The Mullany Family Collection documents certain aspects in the lives of the family members. The papers of Azarias reflect his scholarly research and publications. To a lesser extent, the same holds true for Father John Mullany. The majority of the papers for the rest of the family consist of correspondence with each other, other family members, and their respective colleagues and friends. Some papers also document the Mullany family participation in the Catholic Summer Schools.

As previously mentioned, the original order of the papers have long since vanished. Brother Frederic, the last person to process the collection, began to arrange the correspondence by person. These papers have stayed true to that rubric.

I. Brother Azarias of the Cross II. Father John Mullany III. Sister Mary Vincent Mullany, S.C. IV. Miss Margaret G. Mullany V. Miss Mary Mullany VI. Thomas and Margaret Mullany VII. Miscellaneous to Collection VIII. Ephemera


  • 1864 - 1946

Biographical / Historical

The Mullany parents emigrated from Killenaule, County Tipperary, Ireland during the Great Potato Famine. They arrived in upstate New York in 1851, and settled in Deerfield. Thomas and Margaret (nee Ryan) Mullany had five children, all of whom eventually joined their parents in New York.

The most famous, and well-documented, of the Mullany children was Patrick Francis. Born in Ireland, he was educated by his parents and aunt at home. Following his arrival in the United States in 1858, Patrick attended the Union School and, subsequently, Christian Brothers' Academy in Utica. The Brothers had a profound influence on him and on February 24th of 1862, his fifteenth birthday, he entered the Christian Brothers' novitiate in Manhattan. He was given the religious name Brother Azarias of the Cross.

Brother Azarias taught in Albany, Manhattan, and Philadelphia before beginning his long and fruitful career at Rock Hill College, in Ellicot City, MD. He began teaching math and literature in 1866. By 1879, Brother Azarias was the president of the college, a position he held until 1886 when he left America in order to complete research in Europe (primarily in England and France).

Upon his return to the United States in 1888, he began to teach, once again. He arrived at Manhattan College, located in the Manhattanville section of Manhattan (131st Street & Broadway) and remained there until he began teaching at the De La Salle Institute on 59th Street. He continued his career at De La Salle for the remainder of his life.

In 1892, Brother Azarias became one of the founding members of the Catholic Summer School (CSS) in New London, CT. In 1893, the CSS moved to Cliff Haven, NY, on lake Champlain. While at Cliff Haven, Brother Azarias passed away on August 20, 1893 at the Hotel Champlain. His funeral was held at St. Patrick's Cathedral.

Brother Azarias was a prolific and preeminent writer during this time. He wrote several articles, essays, and poems for a number of publications. His best known books are Philosophy of Literature and Books and Reading. The lives of Brother Azarias' remaining family members, unfortunately, do not have their biographies as well documented like the famous Christian Brother. Thomas and Margaret Mullany, Azarias' parents, passed away in December of 1891, within one week of each other. Margaret died first.

John F. Mullany was born after his brother Azarias. He ultimately went to the seminary where he became a diocesan priest in 1880. He, too, became involved with the Catholic Summer School. To a lesser extent, he published a couple of articles and books, mostly dealing with education. He served as pastor at St. John the Baptist in Syracuse for over twenty-five years. He stayed there until his death in 1916.

Two of the Mullany sisters, Mary and Margaret never married. They lived together in Syracuse until their deaths in 1937 and 1946, respectively. The final sister, Alice Mullany, also never married. She became a Sister of Charity, receiving the name Mary Vincent. For much of her early life as a nun, she lived in a community in New Orleans-Hotel Dieu. Later she was transferred to St. Joseph's Hospital in Philadelphia where she stayed until her death in April of 1927.


7.5 Linear Feet (12 boxes)

Language of Materials

Multiple languages


The Mullany Family Collection consists primarily of correspondence, but scrapbooks, photographs, notes, published books and essays, etc., are also included of the Mullany Family, of which the oldest son became a prominent Christian Brother.


The Mullany Family Collection underwent a series of arranging, the very latest in the mid-1980s when attempts were made to process the collection. The job remained incomplete until spring of 2004. Due to the nature of these records-unknown background and a number of different arrangements-the original order has surely been lost.


The papers of the Mullany Family have a virtually undocumented history. Brother Frederic of Manhattan College first found five boxes in 1978 with no description. He maintains throughout his notes that following the death of Brother Azarias in 1893, the papers were passed to his brother, Father John Mullany. Upon his death in 1916 the papers were supposedly given to his sister, Mary Mullany. After her death in 1937 the papers ended up at Manhattan College. Notes attached with the finding aid verify research completed by Manhattan College Brothers in 1941. They remained on the shelves until Brother Frederic located them in 1978. Rev. Brother C. Cornelius donated the pictures. The scrapbook was sent from the Riddle Family, relatives of the Mullany family, in Detroit to Manhattan College, year unknown.

Processing Information

Processed: Spring 2004 By: Joseph P. Felice
The Mullany Family Collection: Finding Aid
Archives of the Christian Brothers of the New York District, Manhattan College
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the De La Salle Christian Brothers Archives of the New York District Repository

O'Malley Library, Room 200
4513 Manhattan College Parkway
Riverdale New York 10471