Friday, December 11, 2009

Daniel Kilmer Sullivan

I was saddened when I learned the other day, that Fr. Daniel Kilmer Sullivan had died this past September. "Fr. Dan" as he was affectionately known, was Rector of one of the largest Episcopal Churches I have ever seen, Church of the Good Samaritan in Paoli, Pennsylvania.

The first time I met "Fr. Dan" was at a Wednesday morning eucharist that was held at Good Sam. I was a young Christian then, but was impressed at the numbers that turned out, especially for a Wednesday morning. Fr. Dan introduced me to a sacramental experience in worship, something I did not know at this time. With each passing Wednesday, I learned more about the Episcopal Church, the Book of Common Prayer, church seasonal colors and vestments, and the Eucharist.

Dan was a remarkable person, a great priest, who had that unusual gift of making friends quickly. Everybody knew him as "Father Dan". He has an infectious laugh, was a wonderful speaker, and was also very kind.  He was a spiritual father to me in many ways, a mentor and friend. I wrote to him several years ago, thanking him for the high role model he set for me and for others. I have often thought on our friendship and am grateful for the better person that this made me. One lesson stands out for me above the rest. That was Dan's great sense of caring, and nurturing.  Thinking back of my experience of Dan, I am reminded of the that great quote by St. Iraneus, that "the glory of God, is man, fully human and fully alive".

I've attached  a link to Dan's obituary here which also has a photo.

Rest in peace friend!

1 comment:

  1. I did not know Fr Dan much more than as a name back then, but "Good Sam" (as I remember the church being called in the early 1970's) made a terrific impact in the local community. With its evangelical flavor, a focus on sacramental worship (you note above) and a presence for Christ in the community, it stood out well in that area of "Main Line" Philly. Sometimes past names get lost from people's memories due to the passage of time . . . but not always. Sounds like he started something in you that took root. Even 35 years later some losses provoke fond memories, even as we all get to remember our own mortality. Good of you to post some thoughts here, my brother. You yourself are perhaps a good legacy of the kind he would be happy to have.