On 18th January 1956, Father Lawrence W. Sullivan, SSS, entered priesthood at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. He said his First Mass at St. Francis Church, Melbourne, on 19th January 1956 and entered the Lord’s Vineyard of Eternal Rest on 30th December 2017, also in Melbourne. On the occasion of the 60th Anniversary of his ordination, Father Sullivan said his life was strongly focused on the Eucharist by the time he was fifteen or sixteen. It was the real presence in the Eucharist that was central to his calling.
Shortly after his ordination, Father Sully, as he was affectionately known, was posted to the SSS Community in Sri Lanka. Father Sully was a gentle counselor, pastor and friend to almost all who knew him; not just because he was a brilliant orator, but because his humane approach always extended beyond the spiritual to the mundane. ‘Humane’ that was his most brilliant characteristic, Father never found it difficult to relate to the humane and that is what endeared him to everyone.
Father Sully was ‘the Happy Wanderer’ happiest on his motor bike, roaming the hills and dales of our country, taking the solace of the Eucharist and the comfort of his reassuring presence to all those who needed it.
Father Sully celebrated his own Golden Jubilee on 5th February 2006 at his home parish in Melbourne.
In obedience to the call of Vatican II, Father Sully was the first to boldly turn the altar around to face the congregation, doing away with the throne of exposition and initiating the veneration of the Blessed Sacrament on the altar itself, symbolizing prayer and contemplation of the Eucharist.
Having reminisced about your precious life in Ministry, my appreciation would be incomplete without mentioning how precious you were in my life dear Father. We talked, we walked, we spent moments in time. You passed through my life and left your mark, not for an hour, not for a day but for a lifetime! You were always there and no matter what I want to say ‘Thank You’ for the impressions you left. I was so blessed when your life touched mine; so many years that I was privileged to call you ‘friend.’
Your religious fervor and belief in God carried you through the ravages of time. Always the sweetest, gentlest man about town. When so many people pass me by, I stop and ask why only you left your mark? My question may never be answered, but there is one thing I want you to know dearest Father of my heart, I was so very blessed by the impact you made on me that moment, so long ago, the day, the hour the moment your life touched mine.
This brings you a very special ‘thank you’ for all you have been and will always be to me dear Father of my heart. Rest now, dear Father, close to the heart of the God you loved so much.
With a heart
Full of love.