Rev. William J. Sullivan, 88, of Lancaster, Pa., passed away on Saturday, June 19, 2021, at his residence at St. Anne’s Retirement Community in Columbia, Pa. He was born in Mount Carmel, Pa., and was the son of the late William Henry and Julia Antoinette (Burke) Sullivan.

He graduated from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Elementary School, Mount Carmel Catholic High School, Saint Charles College, Catonsville, Md., Saint Charles Borremeo Seminary, Overbrook, Pa., and earned his masters degree in religious education from LaSalle University.

Father Sullivan was ordained on March 14, 1959, at Saint Patrick Cathedral, Harrisburg, at the hands of Bishop George L. Leech.

His assignments included Saint Thomas More Parrish, Northumberland, Saint Francis Xavier Parish, Saint Peter’s Parish, Elizabethtown, Saint Joseph’s Parish, York, Trinity High School, (chaplain, assistant principal and principal), Camp Hill, Saint Patrick Parish, Carlisle, Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish, Marysville, Saint Joseph Parish, Mechanicsburg, Saint Leo the Great Parish, Lancaster, Saint Joseph Parish, Mechanicsburg, retired.

Father Sullivan served the Knights of Columbus Chaplain, Committee for Aid to Needy Parishes, School Board of Trinity High School, and the Head of Personnel for the Diocese of Harrisburg.

He is survived by two nieces, Eileen M. Usman, of Greenbrier, Tenn., and Frances M. Stanford, wife of Gary D., of Phenix City, Ala.; several great-nieces and great-nephews; several grand nieces and nephews; and several cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents Julia and William (Bill) Sullivan; a sister, Rose Marie Hannon; and brother-in-law, William (Bill) Hannon.

Father Sullivan had a deep love of the priesthood. He was known to have described himself as a “happy priest,” evidenced by his warm smile and handshake.

Father had a deep love for Mount Carmel, Bishop Lawrence Schott, travel, music, a good book, fine art and a good pasta dish but most of all people.

Known for his storytelling, whether funny or poignant, to fit any situation or homily. Father Sullivan carried a special pride in his Irish American Heritage. His grandfather reported to have “lost the O in Sullivan to the blowing ocean winds along the way to the Pennsylvania coal region.”

Recognized in 1976 Trinity High School yearbook for his “immeasurable depth, sincere efforts, outstanding care, and gentleness,” he was a man deeply devoted to the Lord and to his own work for the Church.

The family would like to thank all the staff at St. Anne’s Retirement Community who cared for Father Sullivan with grace and integrity. Also, thank you to his friends and extended family who visited, laughed, joked, sang, provided loving care and prayed with him during his last journey on earth as he traveled toward his most coveted lifetime final destination of heaven.

On Tuesday, June 29, 2021, The Mass of Transferral will be held at 7 p.m. at St. Leo The Great Catholic Church, 2427 Marietta Ave., Lancaster, PA 17601, with the Rev. Peter I. Hahn as celebrant. All are welcomed to a viewing from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the church.

On Wednesday, June 30, 2021, The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. at St. Leo The Great Catholic Church, 2427 Marietta Ave., Lancaster, PA 17601, with the Most Rev. Ronald W. Gainer, Bishop of the Diocese of Harrisburg. A second viewing will be from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., prior to Mass on Wednesday.

On Thursday, July 1, 2021, all are welcomed to Father Sullivan’s Final Farwell and Commendation Graveside Service at 12 noon at All Saints Cemetery Elysburg, 172 All Saints Road, Elysburg, PA 17824.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in memory of Father Sullivan to St. Leo The Great Catholic Church, Trinity High School, 3601 Simpson Ferry Road, Camp Hill, PA 17011; St. Joseph Church, 400 E. Simpson St., Mechanicsburg, PA 17055.

Father Sullivan’s Funeral Mass will be livestreamed on St. Leo’s Parrish website To send the family online condolences, please visit; Charles F. Snyder Jr. Funeral Home & Crematory, 717-560-5100.

(0) entries

Sign the guestbook.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.