Edward J. Sullivan, OFM
1916 – 2004
Fr. Edward J. Sullivan, OFM, was born on Jan. 10, 1916 in Piladelphia, Pa. From 1935 until 1939, he was a seminarian at St. Joseph’s Seraphic Semminary in Callicoon, N.Y.
He was received into the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., Aug. 12, 1939, and made his first vows Aug. 14, 1940. Fr. Edward was 24 when he began his philosophical studies at St. Stephen Friary in Crogan, N.Y., and St. Anthony’s Friary in Butler, N.J. He proceeded to Holy Name College in Washington, D.C., where he pursued his theological studies.
Fr. Ed professed solemn vows Sept. 17, 1943, at Holy Name College. He was ordained a priest in the Church of Mount St. Sepulchre in Washington on June 17, 1945.
His first assignment was as parochial vicar at St. Mary’s Parish in Pompton Lakes, N.J. After three years in parish ministry, Fr. Ed began a long career with Holy Name Province’s Mission Band. As an itinerant, he lived in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Butler, N.J., and Holy Cross Friary in the Bronx. He also lived in Brooklike, Mass., where he directed retreats for the laity for one year. In 1963, Fr. Ed moved back to Butler as a member of the Mission Band, and he served for another four years directing and preaching parish missions.
Fr. Ed’s life revolved around the proclaiming and announcing of the Good News as is found in the Word of God. For 18 years, he directed parish missions and retreats to reach hearts with the Franciscan message of “peace and penance.”
In 1967, Fr. Ed was asked to be pastor of St. Francis of Assisi on Long Beach Island, N.J., where he served until 1970. He then moved to Wanaque, N.J., and served as pastor for another six years. In 1976, he returned to St. Anthony in Butler as parochial vicar.
Fr. Ed was assigned as chaplain to St. Anthony Hospital in Warwick, N.Y., in 1985. For the next 13 years, he served the patients and the Sisters at St. Anthony’s with the same faithfulness and devotion to duty he exhibited with the Mission Band and his parochial assignments. In 1998, he retired to St. Anthony’s Friary in Butler and was soon transferred to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J.
Fr. Edward died there on July 5, 2004. He was 88 years old, a professed friar for nearly 64 years and a priest for 59 years.