Our News

The latest news at Saint Francis University

<< Go Back

Remembering Fr. Sean Sullivan, T.O.R.

August 2, 2014


 Fr Sullivan

Rev. Sean M. Sullivan, T.O.R., President-emeritus of Saint Francis University, passed away Saturday, August 2, 2014 at the age of 85. Fr. Sean died peacefully after a brief illness at Saint Francis Friary - Mount Assisi, in Loretto. Father Sean was President of Saint Francis University from 1972-1977.

Fr. Sean resided at St Francis Friary-Mt. Assisi since 2009 and was in the ministry of prayer. He was born June 6, 1929 in Cleveland, Ohio and given the name Frank Charles. He was the son of the late Frank Charles Sullivan and Margaret Mary Wilhelmy Sullivan. He attended St. Clement Elementary School, Lakewood, Ohio and graduated from Lakewood High School in 1947. After graduation he attended Miami University, Oxford, Ohio for three years. He entered the Franciscans on October 7, 1950. He made his novitiate at the Portiuncula Friary in Washington, D.C., and professed his temporary vows on July 2, 1952. He professed his solemn vows on July 3, 1955. Fr. Sean was ordained to the priesthood by the late Richard T. Guilfoyle, D.D., Bishop of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown at The Blessed Sacrament Cathedral, Altoona, PA on May 25, 1957.

Fr. Sean received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from St Francis College, Loretto, PA in 1953; he completed his Theology studies at St. Francis Seminary in Loretto in 1957 and did graduate studies at Villanova University, Philadelphia, PA and University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin. He received his Doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, in 1963 and did post-graduate studies at DePaul University, Chicago, Illinois, and Notre Dame University, South Bend, Indiana.

During his long and very faithful Franciscan life, Fr. Sean primarily ministered in education. He taught at Bishop Neumann High School in Philadelphia, Pa; he was Chairman of the Department of Philosophy at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio and taught in that department; he was Acting President and then President of St. Francis College (University), Loretto, PA. He was Academic Dean and Professor of Philosophy at St. John Vianney Seminary, Miami, Florida; and he was Instructor of Philosophy at Barry University, Miami, Florida. Fr. Sean served as a member of the Board of Trustees of both Franciscan University of Steubenville and St. Francis College (University). He received an Honorary Doctor of Humanities from St. Francis College in 1997. He was Hospital Chaplain at Naples Community Hospital, Naples, Florida. From 1995-2009, Fr. Sean resided at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish, Sarasota, Florida. During his ministry Fr. Sean served his Community in many ways. He was a delegate to the General Chapter of the Order; he served in leadership as Provincial Director of Studies; Provincial Councilor; and Director of Studies and Religious Formation at St. Francis Seminary, Toronto, Canada. Fr. Sean had a deep appreciation of the arts – all the arts. He helped found the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Arts, and was a member of the Board of Trustees from 1975 until 1996 at which time he became Trustee Emeritus.

Fr. Sean is survived by a brother, Thomas C. Sullivan and wife, Sandra, Bay Village, Ohio; a sister, Kaki O’Neill and husband the late David O’Neill, Westlake, Ohio; a sister Joan Livingston and husband James, Westlake, Ohio, a sister Sue Jacobus and husband John, Elm Grove, Wisconsin; and many nieces and nephews, and his Franciscan brothers. He was preceded in death by his sister Sue Schreiner and husband, John.

Friends will be received at the Chapel of St. Francis Friary-Mt. Assisi, Loretto, PA on Tuesday, August 5, 2014, from 4:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m., and the Vigil Service will be celebrated at 7:30 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be concelebrated on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 12 noon at St. Francis Friary-Mt. Assisi with the Very Rev. Richard L. Davis,TOR, Minister Provincial, as principal celebrant. Following the Mass, internment will take place in the Franciscans’ Cemetery on the campus of St. Francis University, Loretto, PA. Memorial contributions may be made to support retired TOR Friars in care of TOR Retirement Fund, St. Francis Friary, P.O. Box 137, Loretto, PA 15940.