Jesuit and Pioneer, Venerable John Sullivan’s cause for beatification moves a step closer

On Friday 7th November 2014, Pope Francis moved Irish Jesuit, Fr John Sullivan, a step closer to beatification when he approved the decree that he lived a life of heroic virtue.

Venerable John Sullivan S.J. (1861-1933) was raised as a member of the Church of Ireland. After a course of studies at Trinity College, Dublin, he qualified as a barrister. On December 21st 1896, he was received into the Catholic Church in London at Farm Street Jesuit Church and a few years later in Ireland he entered the Society of Jesus at Tullamore on September 7th, 1900. The intensity with which he embraced the religious life became very obvious to all who knew him from his first days in the novitiate As a priest he was known for his love of the sick and was indefatigable in visiting them in hospitals and their homes. Many cures were reported after his prayerful visits.

Fr. John Sullivan SJ

He led a most abstemious and mortified life. A firm believer in the spiritual benefits of Pioneer membership he encouraged many of the boys in his care to become members. The Pioneer pin which he himself wore faithfully during his life is preserved in Clongowes Wood College, Co Kildare where he ministered for the greater part of his Priestly life.

Fr. John Sullivan SJ 2

He died in 1933 with a reputation for great holiness. In 1960, his remains were brought to the Church of St Francis Xavier, Dublin (where the Pioneer Association was founded) and placed in a specially prepared tomb beside the Chapel of the Sacred Heart.!rii=9%3A20679375%3A0%3A%3A - Fr. Bernard McGuckian, SJ (Central Spiritual Director of Pioneer Association) interview on Sean O'Rourke RTE radio1 show (Tuesday 11th November 2014)  - Video of Fr. John Fitzerald SJ recalling his Memories of Fr. John Sullivan

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