Biographies

Father John M. Coulehan, MM

Born: July 4, 1900
Ordained: June 13, 1926
Died: January 8, 1964

John M. Coulehan was born on July 4, 1900 in Cumberland, Maryland. After completing St. Patrick’s Parochial School he entered St. Charles’ College in Catonsville to study for the priesthood. Completing the six-year course, he entered St. Mary’s in Baltimore. In September, 1922 he entered Maryknoll and was ordained on June 13, 1926.

His first assignment was to the Venard where he took over as Camp Director for the summer and taught for the following year. Promotion Vocational work opened up in the East and Midwest in 1927 and Father John’s next assignment was as a promoter in this area. From here he was transferred to do Japanese work in Los Angeles, and promotion. His flaming red hair and fine voice, together with a very kindly disposition brought him success in this work. When the promotion house was opened in Los Angeles in 1930 he was named local Superior. For the next seven years he labored to make the name of Maryknoll known and loved in this vast promotion field.

In 1937 he began mission work in Hawaii, starting at Sacred Heart Parish in Punahou, Honolulu, as pastor. Here, when World War II broke out he joined with other Maryknollers in doing what they could for the numbers of service men and their families who suddenly inundated the Islands. In 1943 he returned to the mainland for a well-earned furlough.

His health, never too robust, became a cause for concern and it was necessary to keep him under observation. So Fr. Coulehan was made Procurator at the Bedford Novitiate where there would not be any great strain. This regime helped so that he was able to return to Hawaii in December, 1945. This time he worked on the big Island of Hawaii at Holualoa. From there he went to St. John’s in Honolulu and continued serving faithfully until he became ill. On January 7, 1964 he extremely ill and death came the next day at St. Francis Hospital in Honolulu.

The funeral Mass was celebrated on January 11th and burial was in the Maryknoll plot in Diamond Head Cemetery.