James Stephen Sullivan

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

James Stephen Sullivan (July 23, 1929—June 12, 2006) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Fargo from 1985 to 2002.


James Sullivan was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, to Stephen and Dorothy (née Bernier) Sullivan.[1] After attending St. Augustine Cathedral School in Kalamazoo, he attended high school and two years of college at St. Joseph Seminary in Grand Rapids.[1] He then studied at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, from where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1951.[1] He completed his theological studies at St. John Provincial Seminary in Plymouth.[1]

Sullivan was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Joseph H. Albers on June 4, 1955.[2] After doing pastoral work in Flint, Lansing, and St. Joseph, he served as private secretary to Bishop Albers and his successor Bishop Alexander M. Zaleski, and then as assistant chancellor and vicar general of the Diocese of Lansing.[1] He was also vocations director and founder of Liturgical Publications.[1]

On July 25, 1972, Sullivan was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Lansing and Titular Bishop of Siccesi by Pope Paul VI.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on the following September 21 from Bishop Zaleski, with Bishops Michael Joseph Green and Paul Vincent Donovan serving as co-consecrators.[2] Following the death of Bishop Justin Albert Driscoll, Sullivan was named the sixth Bishop of Fargo, North Dakota, by Pope John Paul II on March 29, 1985.[2] He was installed at St. Mary's Cathedral on the following May 30.[2]

During his tenure, Sullivan established the Fargo Catholic Schools Network and the Opening Doors, Opening Hearts evangelization program.[1] He improved the financial condition of the diocese and funded the Priest Pension Plan through the Shepherd's Care Campaign.[1] He became nationally known for his work with pro-life efforts, and initiated the annual Walk with Christ for Life in 1992 to publicly protest abortion.[1] In 1993 he was chosen by John Paul II to address the English-speaking audience attending World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado.[3] He also served as episcopal liaison to the Cursillo movement and the Catholic Marketing Association, as president of the World Apostolate of Fatima, and as a member of the advisory board for Catholics United for the Faith.[3]

After sixteen years as Bishop of Fargo, Sullivan resigned on March 18, 2002.[2] He resided at the rectory at Holy Spirit Church in Fargo before moving to Rosewood on Broadway in 2006.[1] He died of complications from Alzheimer's disease, aged 76.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Bishop James S. Sullivan dies June 12". New Earth. June 2006. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Bishop James Stephen Sullivan". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. 
  3. ^ a b c "Bishop Sullivan, retired head of Diocese of Fargo, N.D., dies". Catholic News Service. 2006-06-14. 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Justin Albert Driscoll
Bishop of Fargo
Succeeded by
Samuel Joseph Aquila