Michael Cullinan


Born: No­vem­ber 22, 1937, Dear­born, Mi­chi­gan.



Cullinan pre­pared for the min­is­try of the Lu­ther­an Church - Mis­sou­ri Syn­od at Con­cor­dia Theo­lo­gic­al Se­mi­na­ry in Spring­field, Il­li­nois. He was or­dained in 1964, and served par­ish­es in Os­we­go, Kan­sas, and West­land, Mi­chi­gan.

After half a do­zen years as a Lu­ther­an pas­tor, he left par­ish min­is­try to work on a mas­ter’s de­gree in Guid­ance and Coun­sel­ing at Wayne State Uni­ver­si­ty in De­troit, Mi­chi­gan. He con­tin­ued with post-mas­ter’s cours­es there, and served on the aca­dem­ic fa­cul­ty.

Cullinan con­tin­ued to feel drawn to the min­is­try, though, ev­en af­ter a de­cade in aca­dem­ia. That sense of call­ing and a cer­tain wan­der­lust en­ticed him west, where he joined a small Church of the East mon­as­te­ry in south­ern Ca­li­for­nia. There he was or­dained as a priest on the Feast of the Dor­mi­tion, Au­gust 15, 1982, and took the re­li­gious name of Mi­chael.

That com­mu­ni­ty ul­ti­mate­ly dis­band­ed, and sev­er­al years lat­er, Cul­li­nan and oth­er priests or­gan­ized the Ho­ly In­car­na­tion Mon­as­te­ry in Al­pine, Ca­li­for­nia. This small group of bro­thers in­volved it­self in the min­is­try of pray­er and char­it­able ser­vic­es. Cul­li­nan him­self worked among de­vel­op­ment­al­ly dis­abled ad­ults.

After a few years in Al­pine, it be­came evi­dent Ca­li­for­nia was too ex­pens­ive for monks to live fru­gal­ly, and the mon­as­te­ry dis­band­ed.

Cullinan stayed in the San Di­ego area for a cou­ple of years, liv­ing the life of an as­ce­tic on Mount Pa­lo­mar. In 1993, he left for Ore­gon, where he be­gan work­ing among ad­ults with de­vel­op­ment­al dis­abi­li­ties.

During this time, he wrote se­ver­al hymns while serv­ing as priest for a lo­cal Ang­li­can par­ish.