This web site is a memorial to those individuals who were passionate about the reform of the
Roman Catholic liturgy as set forth in Sacrosanctum Concilium (the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy)
and who now, in eternal life, worship the God whom they served in this life.

Leonard Louis Sullivan

Leonard Louis Sullivan
June 8, 1999

Leonard Louis Sullivan, who was the director of the National Liturgy Office at the CCCB in Ottawa from 1966-1973, died in Regina on June 8, 1999. Cardinal Emmett Carter described Father Sullivan as the most important person in the liturgical renewal of the Church in Canada.

His many gifts were brought together by his passion for good liturgy. But he knew that the ongoing work of the renewal was no simple task. He sensed that it would consume his whole life, which indeed it did. I remember once, many years ago, after a meeting in Ottawa he quoted the words from St. Luke’s account of the last supper: “I have longed to eat this Pasch with you before I suffer.” He went on to recall happy gatherings, meals, celebrations, meetings with close friends—and yet there was always a human cost, a bur- den or a disappointment that could be described as “suffering.” As I look back now, I see the life of the Len Sullivan I knew, to be a realization of what the text meant to him.

His constant desire to gather people, to welcome them, to celebrate and share his life with them; his unfailing kindness in dealing with friends and strangers alike; as well as his keen perception and gentle caring for what is good and beautiful, was borne out in his dedication to the renewal of the liturgy and to pastoral service in parishes and other set- tings. It is as if all the sacrifice of time and effort that went into preparing books, texts, rites, and all the other elements of liturgical worship were for only one purpose: “to celebrate this Pasch with you.” In his case, his efforts helped thousands of people in Canada to celebrate in a more fitting way the paschal mystery of our redemption. It is no surprise then that he requested that St. Luke’s account of the disciples on the road to Emmaus be read at his funeral mass.

We will miss his special power to bring joy to every gathering he entered, but we will also continue to profit from the rich heritage he left as we continue to celebrate in English the paschal feast in which the mystery of our redemption is renewed.

Tribute prepared by Archbishop James Martin Hayes for National Bulletin on Liturgy, no. 152