Hilary Sullivan, OFM
1906 – 1994
Fr. Hilary Sullivan, OFM, was born in Arlington, Mass., on Jan. 19, 1906. After graduating from Arlington High School, he attended St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., from 1924 to 1929.
In 1929, he was received into the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., and professed his temporary vows the following year. Fr. Hilary made his solemn profession of vows in 1933 and in 1936 was ordained a priest.
Following ordination, Fr. Hilary was immediately assigned to the Franciscan Missionary Union at 31st Street in New York City. He later served as guardian and rector of St. Anthony Shrine in Boston, and under his direction the shrine’s ministries flourished.
Fr. Hilary also served at St. Anthony Church in Butler, N.J., and at Our Lady’s Chapel in New Bedford, Mass. He retired to St. Anthony’s Residence in Boston, continuing to serve at Hope House, a ministry of counseling those struggling with alcoholism. He is also credited with the founding of the Our Lady of the Highway Society.
In 1987, Fr. Hilary was recognized as “Boston’s Most Incredible Citizen.” The City of Boston declared the opening day of Hilary House to be “Hilary Sullivan Day” for the people. His energy, contagious smile and delightful humor marked his everyday life as a friar. He was also inducted into the Arlington High School Hall of Fame.
He died Sept. 9, 1994, at the New England Medical Center in Boston. Fr. Hilary was 88 years old, a professed friar for 64 years and a priest for 58 years.