7/6/2017 9:00:00 AM OBITUARY Rev. Peter J. Sullivan III, 73
A funeral Mass will be offered July 8 at Holy Trinity Church, Greenfield, Mass., for Rev. Peter Sullivan III, who died June 25. He was 73 and had been a priest of the Albany Diocese for 46 years.
A native of Greenfield, Mass., he had been associate pastor at St. Joseph's parish in Scotia, St. Clare's in Colonie and St. Mary's in Crescent; chaplain at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady and Samaritan in Troy; director of pastoral care at St. Clare's hospital in Schenectady; and chaplain to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in Latham.
A canon (Church) lawyer, from 1980-2015 he mainly served the diocesan Tribunal. He was an auditor, judge, defender of the bond and adjutant judicial vicar. Father Sullivan referred to himself as a "referee" who provided a framework to settle various issues in the Church. The Tribunal deals with many marriage annulments, but he would also field questions from a family hoping their nine-year-old son could serve as godfather to his brother or a pastor checking on marriage preparation requirements for a Catholic/Muslim couple.
Father Sullivan also answered many tricky questions on morality for The Evangelist, often interviewed for stories like whether Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh should have received the anointing of the sick before his execution or analyzing President Bill Clinton's truthfulness in testifying about relations with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
Service was a keyword for all of the priest's ministries. One of his brother priests lauded Father Sullivan's "personal, supportive, emotional, spiritual, and financial help" to "people on the margins whose needs had passed unseen by most. Only they know who they are, because Peter never talked about the extent that his life was devoted to service."
Called home while still doing much good in ministry, may Father Sullivan be welcomed into the heavenly kingdom in reward for his service.
Survivors include siblings Kathy Sullivan-Jenest and Dan Sullivan. Interment was in Calvary Cemetery, Greenfield, Mass.