Father John Mickun
Parish History (Page 5 of 8)
1938 - 1961 (Part II)
Father Mickun, a determined and astute administrator, could not be content until St. Mary's debt was liquidated. To this end, he and his assistants labored; each month the four priests of the parish went from home to home collecting dues past and present. On January 29, 1950, the parish celebrated the burning of the mortgage at a banquet in the parish hall in the presence of Bishop Ignatius Krause, an old friend of Father Mickun's, who had been a missionary in China.
Father Mickun was also devoted to the enlargement and care of the parish cemetery. He purchased additional acreage for the cemetery in 1941 and 1944, doubling the cemetery in size and providing a new entrance on New Holland Road. He had erected a Veteran's Monument in 1946 and made provision for the burial of veterans in a special plot adjacent to the monument. He erected a wall around most of the cemetery's perimeter. All through the grass-cutting season, Father Mickun could be found at the cemetery making sure the grass-cutters worked as he wished them to work.
Father Mickun had the honor of dedicating the three-manual Mohler pipe organ which the parish purchased around the time of his arrival. Word has it that the organ, which still graces liturgies at St. Mary's, was originally the RCA Victor recording organ.
Father Mickun was also responsible for installing, in 1950, the beautiful blue-hued stained glass windows that lend an air of elegance to the church. Father Mickun purchased two of the windows himself: the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The former, that pictures a legless Jesus Christ was reassembled behind the St. Joseph altar.
Father Mickun retained the pastorate of St. Mary's until he died on December 20th, 1968. He had left St. Mary's for retirement on November 1st, 1961. In those days, it was unheard of for a pastor to be declared Pastor Emeritus; pastors retained office until their death.
St. Mary Roman Catholic Church
250 South 12th St., Reading, PA 19602