Pastoral minister ordained a Jesuit deacon
November 19, 2020
A man ministering to college students in Omaha is one step closer to the priesthood.
Archbishop George J. Lucas ordained Jeffrey Sullivan, S.J., a transitional deacon for the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) Nov. 5 at St. John Church on the Creighton University campus in Omaha.
Deacon Sullivan, a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, is in his final year of formation for the priesthood, and is currently serving in pastoral ministry at Creighton, including planning retreats and providing spiritual direction for students.
The ordination Mass took place on the traditional date on which the Jesuits remember the saints and blesseds of their congregation.
In his homily, Archbishop Lucas said: “Today, Jeffrey, the path to sainthood for you as a Christian and a member of the Society of Jesus becomes more clear.”
“Your life and service as a deacon will show more clearly the rhythm of life that is offered to every saint, every disciple of Jesus Christ. … The Lord is calling you to … be more closely configured to him, to become a living sacrament of his mercy and humility,” the archbishop said.
In his new role, Deacon Sullivan will assist at the altar and preach at student Masses, and perform weddings, funerals, baptisms and benedictions.
“It’s more than I could have imagined, being ordained,” he said. “I’m just excited about being a minister and a representative of the Church.”
Deacon Sullivan earned a bachelor’s degree in English at Creighton. His education also includes a master’s degree in philosophy from Loyola University in Chicago and a master’s of divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California.
He also has worked with domestic violence victims through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps in Milwaukee, taught at the Jesuit-led Working Boys Center in Quito, Ecuador, and served at an elementary school on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.