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Rev. Msgr. W. Jerome Sullivan, JCD

Deceased: 2023-09-08

Diocese: BUFFALO

Seminary Graduation Year: 1962

CSM Graduation Year: 1966


Msgr. W. Jerome Sullivan, longtime pastor of St. Mary of the Lake Parish in Hamburg, died Sept. 8, 2023. He was 87.

The son of William and Gertrude (Walters) Sullivan was born July 17, 1936, in Cuba, N.Y.Msgr. He attended SS. Peter & Paul School in Williamsville and the Diocesan Preparatory Seminary in Buffalo. He then entered St. Bernard’s Seminary College in Rochester.

He was ordained Dec. 20, 1961, in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome by Bishop Martin J. O’Conner, the rector of the Pontifical North American College in Rome. His first Mass was not until August 1962, at his home parish of SS. Peter & Paul.

Msgr. Sullivan earned a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Gregorian University in Rome in 1962, then earned a doctorate in Canon Law from Lateran University in Rome in 1966.

His assignments include being administrator of St. John Fisher, South Dayton for his first year in ministry. In 1966, he was named assistant chancellor. He held that post for three years before being named parochial vicar at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Buffalo. He went on to serve as administrator of Queen of All Saints and Assumption parishes in Lackawanna.

In 1980, he was named pastor of St. Mary of Sorrows in Buffalo, followed by 17 years at St. Mary of the Lake in Hamburg.

Msgr. Sullivan also served as vicar for Central City, coordinator of the Priest Personnel Board, the Bishop’s Liaison for Retired Priests, and a member of the Clergy Retirement Board.

Msgr. Sullivan continued to serve as administrator at several parishes after his 2009 retirement.

He belonged to Canon Law Society of America, diocesan Council of Priests, and the New York State Priest Personnel Directors.

His honors include the 1983 NAACP Ministerial Award, the 1994 Mater Christi Award from Immaculata Academy, and the 2004 Curé of Ars from Christ the King Seminary.

Family will receive friends at the John J. Kaczor Funeral Home, 5453 Southwestern Blvd, Hamburg, on Sunday, Sept. 24 from 1-5 p.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Monday, Sept. 25 at 10 a.m. at St. Martha Parish, 10 French Road, Depew. Bishop Michael W. Fisher will be the main celebrant.