Father Michel Mukad, 38, dies on Immaculate Conception

GEORGETOWN—Missionary Father Michel Mukad, administrator of St. Mary Our Lady of Ransom Church, died Dec. 8, the feast day of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. He was 38.

A viewing will be held Dec. 14 from 4-5:30 p.m., followed by a Mass of Transfer at 6 p.m. Both services will be held at St. Mary Our Lady of Ransom Church, 317 Broad St.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Dec. 15 at 11 a.m. at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston. The burial will follow at Holy Cross Cemetery on James Island.

Father Mukad was born on Oct. 28, 1982, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The oldest of eight boys, his parents are Sylvain Mukad and the late Generose Muad. He grew up in the church and attended a minor seminary high school.

In 2001, he began his formation with the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary aspiracy program and was sent to Saint Pierre Canisius Kimwenza Jesuit College in Kinshasa, earning a bachelor’s degree in philosophy; and Ecole Theologique Saint Cyprien Ngoya in Cameroon, for his master’s in theology.

Father Michel Mukad

He arrived in the U.S., his mission country, in 2010, and studied English at the International Language Institute in Washington, D.C., and the Mexican American Catholic College in San Antonio, Texas. He also studied Spanish in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

His pastoral internship was spent at St. Eugene Catholic Church in Wendell, N.C., and Spartanburg Regional Health Care System in South Carolina.

Father Mukad was ordained to the priesthood on Oct. 6, 2013. He then served more than three years in the Archdiocese of San Antonio, Texas, before moving to South Carolina.

During his time in the Diocese of Charleston, he first served as parochial vicar at St. Mary Help of Christians in Aiken, with sacramental duties at Trenton Correctional Institution and the Trenton Lower Savannah Pre-Release Center. He was then appointed administrator of St. Louis Church in Dillon and Church of the Infant Jesus Mission in Marion.

In a personal writing, Father Mukad said the pastoral work that most impacted him was caring for orphans and visiting prisoners. He also enjoyed his time working with youth and young adults.

Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone said the news of  Father Mukad’s death was heartbreaking.

“For more than three years, Father Mukad was a deeply devoted priest that was beloved by his parishioners, and his brother priests. He shared a commitment to the faith that was clear and unwavering. I greatly appreciated his commitment to serving our diocese with an open heart and willing hand,” he said.

Many of Father Mukad’s former parishioners wrote poignant comments on social media, in English and Spanish.

Ronda Ebner wrote: “Father Michel was a very special priest at St. Matthew’s Catholic Church in San Antonio early on in his priesthood. He spent a lot of time with the students at the school and they loved him. He would go watch them play at CYO games and cheer them on. I was always excited to attend a Mass where he was doing the homily. You were called home too soon.”

Carlito Agner said he was shocked and sad to hear about Father Mukad’s death, writing: “He became a friend of ours when the kids were younger, playing soccer with us at Wendell rec Sunday afternoons on his down time. He always asks how my kids were doing, referring to them by name, each time we see [each] other when he is in Wendell. Rest in peace Father Michel!”

Father Mukad is survived by his congregation brothers.

Messages of condolence may be sent to the Congregation of the Immaculate Heart of Mary:

Rev. Celso A. Tabalanza, CICM, Provincial Superior, 4651 25th Street N., Arlington, VA 22207.