Dan Mulvey, a married focolarino from Texas, left for heaven on January 16th, 2016. He left behind his wife Mary, also a married focolarini, and 3 children.
Dan was born in 1947 and met the Focolare in 1978. Chiara gave him “I will be with you always” as a word of life. (Ps 73:23)
Dan lived as a Christian before knowing the Focolare. But his choice and maturity is described well when, with his family, he is invited to share his experience at the Family Congress with the Holy Father in 1994. He shared: “…we try to live according to the Gospel message. My attitude and my way of life prior, however, did not always correspond to this commitment. In fact, during the early years of our marriage my way of seeking God was to offer myself as a volunteer in many good causes and charitable organizations which however kept me away from my family so many evenings. I felt a certain satisfaction in these activities … but I had not made a choice of God as my ideal.” Then he meets people of the Movement, and continues: “Once I decided to live the Gospel, especially the new commandment of Jesus … I clearly understood that I could find God in every present moment in loving …”
In 1988 he felt called to the vocation of the focolare, to be a married focolarino. Even though he felt unworthy, he wrote to Chiara, “… I realized that God knows all my fears and doubts, he knows what is in my heart and these are opportunities he has given me to tell him my Yes…” His vocation was confirmed and in 1992 he wrote, “… my radical choice of God was heard in heaven, and now on earth. My hands are firmly on the plow and there’s no looking back.”
Over the years, his radical choice of Jesus Forsaken was expressed, above all, in his accepting his severe health problems. In 1993 he had heart surgery and wrote to Chiara: “A heart for a heart. Dearest Chiara, today I am about to undergo a heart operation. My heart is yours even if it is not well. What’s mine is mine, for him, for you and for all. I will offer everything for your health and for the activities of the Movement…” Chiara responds: “Thank you for your message! I’m with you and I pray that everything goes well. May our Lady reward you with her love.”
From 2006 on, as his diabetes got worse he started dialysis treatment. After a crisis he wrote to Chiara: “… I thanked God for my healing and I asked Him for greater graces that would allow me to say yes to my illness and to receive the inevitable future suffering with open arms… Jesus forsaken comes to my rescue. Through the wisdom of the Holy Spirit and the gift of our spirituality, preferring His love, my darkness is transformed into light and although I could only cry, I felt closer to God than ever before.”
Many focolarini and people of the community have experienced Dan as a true brother. He was especially close to those who went through difficult moments. His presence in the focolare carried a supernatural atmosphere. A focolarino writes: “I often work alone in the house. When Dan came to help on the days he didn’t have dialysis, he brought the presence of Jesus in the midst with him, and my days were very different.”
When the doctors announced that all the possibilities for medical treatment were exhausted, he welcomed the news with courage and serenity saying that he offered his life for unity in the movement.