|“||You'd be surprised what a priest can get away with.||„|
|~ Father Mulcahy on his dealings with the black market.|
Francis John Patrick Mulcahy, SJ was a secondary protagonist in the television series M*A*S*H.
A Roman Catholic priest, Mulcahy was assigned as camp chaplain to the 4077th MASH, first under the command of Lt. Col Henry Blake followed by Col Sherman Potter. When he came to camp he held the rank of 1st Lieutenant, and was later promoted to Captain. Mulcahy's job was to handle the spiritual care of not only the patients, but also the soldiers of the 4077. This was especially important when soldiers required the last rites or sacraments of the Catholic church, duties Mulcahy took very seriously and would not allow anyone to interfere with.
From a very young age Mulcahy was a boxing fan, having developed an interest in the sport after his father took him to a match against his will and saw the boxer Gentleman Joe Cavanaugh stop the fight when his opponent was too badly beaten to go on. His Jesuit mentor felt that boxing helped students build strength and character.
Coming from a large family Mulcahy had a sister named Kathy who had also entered the religious life.
Mulcahy made friends with many of the other people in the camp. In addition to both of his commanding officers he was friends with Hawkeye Pierce, Radar O'Rielly, Trapper John, B.J. Hunnicut, Max Klinger, Margaret Houlihan, and Major Winchester. He would spend time with the various patients that passed through the camp, offering a sympathetic ear when they felt the need to unburden themselves.
In camp Mulcahy often won betting pools. He enjoyed playing poker, donating his winnings to the local orphanage when he did win, which was not always the case.
Mulcahy was willing to work with the local black market in order to obtain needed supplies or medicine for children at the local orphanage. His black market contacts came in handy when the 4077 was critically low on anaesthetic - he was able to obtain enough to get the camp through until regular supplies could be obtained.
In the closing days of the Korean War Mulcahy was seriously injured when artillery exploded near him. This left Mulcahy with hearing loss. As the unit closed down at the end of the war Mulcahy expressed an interest in working with the deaf at the dinner held the night before.
Returning to the states Mulcahy traveled home to the Philadelphia area. He was not given his own parish upon returning home. Upset over his situation he began drinking heavily. Potter learned of Mulcahy's situation, and arranged for him to have surgery in St. Louis. This surgery reversed most of Mulcahy's hearing loss, however he was still deaf in one ear. Upon recovery Potter offered him a job working as the Catholic chaplain at General Pershing VA hospital where Potter was working as chief of staff. Mulcahy agreed and joined Potter and Klinger in working at the hospital.
- Except for the pilot episode Father Mulcahy was played by the late William Christopher through all 11 seasons of the show.
- In the pilot episode Mulcahy was played by George Morgan. Afterwards the producers felt a quirkier individual was needed and recast Mulcahy with Christopher.
- William Christopher, along with Jamie Farr and Harry Morgan were the three series regulars who starred on AfterMASH. Because a deaf Father Mulcahy would've been difficult to write for, the producers decided to have the character undergo experimental surgery in order to correct most of his hearing loss.