Pax Christi Metro New York (PCMNY) joins with many, many others in mourning the death of Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan, a long-time member and faithful supporter of Pax Christi. Bishop Sullivan was probably best known for his great leadership in Catholic Charities, advocating tirelessly for the poor and sick, but he was also a committed peacemaker, serving as chairman of the Social Development and World Peace Department of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In addition, for numerous years, he led the opening prayer at PCMNY’s Good Friday Way of the Cross. He also contributed to our efforts in peacemaking as an occasional advisor and presider at Mass. Knowing the need for material as well as spiritual nourishment, he provided financial support as a regular donor and, in his role as a member of the Advisory Council of Our Sunday Visitor, helped PCMNY receive a couple of grants to fund our work. Bishop Sullivan’s overall dedication to peacemaking earned him a PCMNY Peacemaker Award in 1997.
My own connection with Bishop Sullivan goes back much farther to the founding of my parish, Our Lady of Hope, where Fr. Sullivan was a weekly celebrant since 1960. There I learned not only from his scholarly homilies, but I also was inspired by his beautiful singing voice. I learned, too, that this holy man almost had a career as a professional baseball player!
Pax Christi Metro New York, Catholic Charities, Our Lady of Hope, and all who were touched by this remarkable man have suffered a great loss, but we are most grateful for having been blessed by Bishop Sullivan’s life. We trust that he will continue to bless us from his eternal home in heaven.