Thomas Mulcrone, who serves as chaplain for the IAFF and was the Chicago Fire Department chaplain for many years, was inducted into the Irish American Hall of Fame during a special ceremony on April 29.
The Irish American Hall of Fame honors American citizens with Irish heritage who have distinguished themselves in the areas of the arts, business, education, public service, religion, science, and sports.
“I can think of no one more deserving of this special honor than Fr. Thomas Mulcrone,” said General President Edward Kelly. “He has been there for all IAFF members, especially our Local 2 brothers and sisters, when we needed him most. On behalf of the IAFF, I want to congratulate Father Mulcrone and extend our appreciation for his years of service to fire fighters and their families.”
Attending the ceremony were 8th District Vice President Mark Sanders, Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois (AFFI) President Chuck Sullivan, AFFI Vice President Luke Howieson, AFFI District 1 Vice President Danny Fortuna, and several members of Chicago Local 2.
“The induction ceremony included a fitting tribute to Father Mulcrone for his decades of service to our members,” said Sanders. “It was an honor for all of us to be there to celebrate such a momentous occasion.”
Mulcrone began connecting with fire fighters in 1981 when he began assisting the Chicago Fire Department Chaplain Reverend Matthew McDonald. He then took over as chaplain when McDonald retired in 1987 and continued in the position until his own retirement in 2017. Mulcrone served simultaneously as IAFF chaplain for many of those years.
The mission of the Chicago Fire Department chaplain is to provide spiritual guidance and pastoral care to Local 2 members during life’s most important moments – baptisms, weddings, funerals, hospital visits – and to offer emotional support during major fires and line-of-duty deaths.
“That’s the hardest thing you have to do is to ring somebody’s doorbell,” Mulcrone said about telling fire fighter families that the worst has happened.
Today, Mulcrone is also the full-time chaplain to St. Mary of Providence, which provides a residence for women with developmental disabilities and offers day vocational programs.