John Pius Sullivan, O.P.

John Pius Sullivan, O.P.


Birth: October 27, 1913

Profession: August 16, 1935

Ordination: June 5, 1941

Died: April 17, 1998

John Joseph Sullivan was born in New York City the son of John Sullivan and Margaret Mary Ryan. He attended Sacred Heart Grammar School, Jersey City, NJ (1920-1928), Regis High School, New York City (1928-1932). From 1932-1934 he studied at Providence College as a pre-ecclesiastical student.

In August of 1934 John entered the novitiate of St. Joseph’s Province at St. Rose, Springfield, KY and received the name Pius. He completed his philosophical studies and first year of theology at the Dominican House of Studies, River Forest, IL (1935-1939). He continued his theological studies at St. Joseph’s Priory in Somerset, OH (1940) and the House of Studies in Washington  (1941-1942). He was ordained at St. Dominic’s Church in that city by Michael J. Curley, Archbishop of Baltimore.

Fr. Pius began his priestly career in the teaching apostolate. He taught at St. Joseph Priory, Somerset, OH (1942-1945); House of Studies, Washington, DC (1945-1949), while studying speech and drama at Catholic University (1945-1946); Aquinas High School, Columbus, OH (1949-1950); St. Joseph Priory (1951-1953). From 1953-1965 Fr. Sullivan had various assignments: parochial assistant at St. Mary’s Church, New Haven, CT (1953-1954); teacher and chaplain at Mary Immaculate, Ossining, NY (1954-1957); teacher and retreat master in Australia (1957-1958); member of the domestic mission band (1958-1963); retreat master in Springbank, SC (1963); parochial assistant at St. Dominic’s, Youngstown, OH (1963-1965). His final assignment was to Holy Innocents Parish, Pleasantville, NY (1965-1998). Here he died after a brief illness.

Fr. Sullivan wrote 75 sermons for the Homiletic and Pastoral Review, as well as many articles to Dominicana, The Torch, The Rosary Magazine, and the Holy Name Journal.

In a letter to Fr. Raymond Daley, Fr. Sullivan’s last pastor, the Director of the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes wrote: “I am writing to you on behalf of the many Rockettes who loved Fr. Sullivan. He was a part of many of the Rockettes’ lives. He married Rockettes and baptized their children. We were all very saddened by the news of his death…. We will miss Fr. Sullivan and his tremendous kindness to all Rockettes.”

He was buried in the Dominican plot of All Souls Cemetery, Pleasantville, NY.

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