The Ancient Order of Hibernians and Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians have announced that they will jointly present the prestigious John F. Kennedy Memorial Award to Father Patrick Sullivan at their upcoming National Convention scheduled for this July in Verona, New York.
“Father Pat is a nationally recognized leader in the field of labor-management. In his teaching, administrative, and consultancy roles, he has successfully sought to bring a Gospel perspective to the promotion of justice on the work-front,” said a statement from the Hibernians.
Added Brendan Moore, JFK Award Chairman/AOH National Vice President: “Members of the AOH and LAOH National boards, as well as state presidents of both organizations, selected him based on nominations received from throughout the U.S. It’s a joint award given to a Roman Catholic of Irish birth or descent, outstanding in his or her field of endeavor.”
Maureen Shelton, JFK Vice Chair/LAOH National Vice President said: “The award is one of the highest honors the AOH and LAOH bestow, and only thirty-one have been awarded since its inception in 1966.”
Born and raised in Manhattan, Father Pat attended Catholic elementary and secondary schools before entering the Congregation of Holy Cross on August 15, 1948. Ordained a Holy Cross priest on June 8, 1956, at St. Mary’s Cathedral, Fall River, Massachusetts, he has earned academic degrees from The University of Notre Dame, Fordham University, and Catholic University in Washington, D.C.
Father Sullivan has held the rank of Assistant Professor of Sociology and Public Policy at The Research Institute, as well as Chairman of the Sociology Department while at Kings College.
He has been Associate Director of The Higgins Labor Research Center, Associate Professor of Sociology, and Director of the Undergraduate Program in Sociology at his alma mater, The University of Notre Dame.
In addition, Father Pat has served as Director of Personnel and Planning for the Holy Cross Fathers, Executive Coordinator of the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators, and Director of Urban Affairs at The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate.
Having served as AOH National Chaplain from 2002 through 2006, and again from 2008 to 2009, Father Pat re-located to Boston to assume the role of Executive Secretary and Chaplain of the Labor Guild of the Archdiocese of Boston. The guild is an ecumenical organization sponsored by the archdiocese and composed of a membership of more than 1,300 labor relations arbitrators and educators, as well as corporation and union leaders who advocate healthy and productive employee relations.
A noted labor rights scholar and practitioner, Father Sullivan is also a member of the Steering Committee of Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice, is active locally in labor management issues, and is a former faculty member and associate director of the Higgins Labor Research Center at the University of Notre Dame.
Father Sullivan has authored several books on the Catholic Church and Labor-Management relations, including U.S. Catholic Institutions and Labor Unions, 1960-1980, Blue Collar-Roman Collar-White Collar: U.S. Catholic Involvement in Labor Management, and Catholic Social Teaching on Labor-Management Issues: Vatican & International Hierarchies. He soon plans to publish Labor Priests from 1900 to the 1960s, the first of three books on the subject of labor priests.
Ned McGinley, AOH Past National President, Kings College colleague, and close personal friend was delighted with the award decision.
“Not surprisingly, Father Pat’s membership and ministry among his fellow Hibernians enabled him to counsel, provide direction, and serve as a moral compass throughout the order. He truly promoted the ideals of the AOH, not only within the United States, but on the streets of Belfast and Derry as well. He has enriched us with his faith, his serenity, and his ever-present humor,” said McGinley.
Past recipients of the JFK medal have included Colonel James McDevitt, USAF, Astronaut of Gemini IV and Apollo IX; Actor Pat O’Brien; Mayors Richard J. Daley of Chicago and Raymond L. Flynn of Boston; the late John Cardinal O’Connor, Archbishop of New York, and Nobel Prize winner John Hume.