Remembering “Bishop Joe”

June 14, 2013

Retired Auxiliary Bishop of the

Diocese of Brooklyn,

the Most Reverend Joseph M. Sullivan

Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan, Retired Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn who invested 22 years in service on Mercy’s ministry board, recently died at 83 as the result of injuries from a May 30 car accident on the Long Island Expressway in his native New York.

Sullivan, also known as “Bishop Joe” by many, began serving on Mercy’s board in 1991 and served as chair from 2004 to 2007. When he joined the Mercy board, Bishop Sullivan had already become internationally known as a committed and gifted advocate for the underserved and neglected.

He left a legacy through his work to build the institution of Catholic Charities, not only in his native New York, but across the country. Under his leadership, Catholic Charities became the largest Roman Catholic human-services agency in the country.

His life-long pursuit of social justice was so significant that The New York Times published a lengthy profile on his efforts and his passing.

Bishop Sullivan is survived by six of his 11 siblings, as well as more than 100 nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.


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