News
Fr. John Sullivan, SJ, in his twenties. Photos courtesy of the Irish Jesuits
Irish Jesuit Fr. John Sullivan, Catholic Healer, to be Beatified May 13

May 10, 2017 — Irish Jesuit Fr. John Sullivan, remembered for his healing prayers, his consolation for the troubled, and his devotion to God, will be beatified on May 13 at St. Francis Xavier Church in Dublin, where the Jesuit priest's body was interred.

Father Sullivan will become the first-ever person to be beatified in Ireland when two archbishops — one Catholic and one Anglican — present the solemn petition asking that he be declared blessed.

That is unusual, but Fr. Sullivan's life straddled two centuries, two traditions, and two cultures.

One of five children, Fr. Sullivan was born in 1861 and grew up in privileged conditions in Ireland and Britain. He was raised in the Protestant tradition of his father, Sir Edward Sullivan, who rose to be lord chancellor of Ireland. His mother, Elizabeth, was a devout Catholic.

At Trinity College Dublin, he excelled in his studies of the classics. He was an avid tennis player and was dubbed "the best-dressed man in Dublin."

In 1885, the year of his father's death, Fr. Sullivan went to London to study law. He traveled extensively and even considered becoming a monk at one of the Orthodox monasteries on Mount Athos in Greece. In 1896, at 35, he became a Catholic.

His reception into the Catholic Church marked a complete break with the life he had lived. Returning to his affluent home in Dublin, he stripped his room down to the floor boards and spent much time visiting the poor and dying. Four years later, he entered the Jesuits.

From the time of his ordination in 1907, reports of miraculous healings began. Cures for meningitis, breast cancer, tuberculosis, infantile paralysis, and many other illnesses were all attributed to his prayers during his lifetime. He willingly cycled long distances to spend hours praying at a patient's bedside while working as a teacher in Clongowes Wood School in County Kildare.

After his death in 1933, his graveside in Clongowes became a place of pilgrimage. The healings continued.

Jesuit Fr. Conor Harper, vice postulator of Fr. Sullivan’s sainthood cause, said hundreds of miracles have been attributed to his intercession, many within living memory.

Neil Morton, former headmaster of the school where Fr. Sullivan was educated, says Portora Royal School in Enniskillen is "proud of being the only Protestant school in the history of Ireland that can boast of having a Catholic saint."

But for Fr. Harper, Fr. Sullivan's real greatness is that "he is a priest of the poor and the sick — that is why he is known." [Sources: CNS, Catholic News Agency]





Recent News

July 18, 2018 — After nine years of Jesuit formation, it is still clear to me that my Jesuit formation actually started with my parents. Even before I joined the Society of Jesus, my parents’ quiet and steadfast persistence in their work, family, and faith had modeled the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience.

July 17, 2018 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Walter "Wally" J. Stohrer, SJ, who was called to eternal life on July 14, 2018. Wally died at St. Camillus senior Jesuit healthcare community, in Wauwatosa, Wis. He was eighty-eight years old, a Jesuit for sixty-nine years, and a priest for fifty-six years.

July 16, 2018 — Father Peter Klink, SJ, has been nominated for this year’s Lumen Christi (Light of Christ) Award.

July 12, 2018 — “A Jesuit never retires, but their ministry changes as they age,” explains Fr. Robert Scullin, SJ, superior of the Colombiere Jesuit Community.

July 2, 2018 — Fr. Kyle Shinseki, SJ, celebrated his first public Mass at Immaculate Conception Church in Lihue, Kauai, on June 17.

June 22, 2018 — A passionate, committed leader is sought by the board of directors of Red Cloud to guide a wide range of institutional efforts to empower Oglala Lakota youth, families, and community members through culturally-relevant education, arts-based programming, and spiritual formation.

view all news

Search news

Publications

Jesuits Spring 2018

Jesuits Fall/Winter 2017

Jesuits Summer 2017



Sioux Spiritual Center
The Sioux Spiritual Center, nestled amid the hills of western South Dakota, is the heart of the Diocese of Rapid City’s efforts to develop native clergy and leadership on the reservations.