Yesterday afternoon the Most Rev. Walter F. Sullivan passed from this earthly life. Born June 10,1928 he was ordained a priest May 9, 1953 for the Diocese of Richmond, Ordained auxiliary bishop December 1, 1970, he appointed diocesan bishop June 4, 1974 and remained in office until his retirement September 16, 2003.
It seems most appropriate that he passed from this life on vigil when we began our celebration of Our Lady of Guadalupe. While his more than 50 years of ministry remained rooted in the diocese of Richmond, it was always carried out with a care for those most in need throughout the world, especially in Latin America.
The first place he assigned me was as a seminarian to care for migrant farm workers on the Eastern Shore of Virginia back in 1985, Hispanic ministry was migrant ministry. As the ministry grew he established our first office for Hispanic Ministry, and encouraged masses in Spanish throughout the Diocese.
We commend him to God Father, and Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe Madre de América.