|Assignment Record – Bishop James Stephen Sullivan
Summary of Case: A priest of the Lansing diocese ordained in 1955, Sullivan was elevated to Auxiliary Bishop in 1972, then to Bishop of Fargo in 1985. Sullivan was accused in 2002 of fondling a high school-aged boy in 1966, after the boy disclosed to him that a religious brother had sexually abused him. Sullivan denied the accusations, and diocesan officials stated they did not believe the accuser because he had not come forward sooner. Sullivan retired in March 2002 due to symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. He died in June 2006.
Incardinated: Lansing, MI
Ordained bishop: Sept. 21, 1972
Installed bishop of Fargo: May 30, 1985
Retired: March 18, 2002
Died: June 12, 2006
Lansing bishop was Joseph Henry Albers (1937-1965).
|1958||St. Luke's||Flint||MI||2/2||St. Luke's had a school with 571-712 students.|
|1958||1960||St. Mary's Cathedral||Lansing||MI||5/7, 6/8||St. Mary's had a grade school with 404-340 students, and a high school with 443-357 students.|
|1960||1961||Secretary to the Bishop||Lansing||MI||Sullivan's address is that of the bishop's residence in the 1961 Directory.|
|1961||1965||St. Joseph's||St. Joseph||MI||3/3, 2/3||St. Joseph's had a grade school with 519-543 students, and a high school with 182-247 students.|
Albers was succeeded by Alexander Mieceslaus Zaleski (1965-1975)
• Sullivan was accused in 2002 of fondling a high school aged boy in 1966. His accuser said he went to Sullivan to report that a religious brother molested him. He said Sullivan told him to keep quiet, and molested him a week later. The accuser also said that Sullivan told him he had two options, "Either join the club, or shut-up." Sullivan denied the accusations. The incident is said to have happened at St. Thomas Aquinas in East Lansing, where Sullivan served as a fill-in priest from time to time.
2/3, 2/4, 3/3, 3/4
In res. 1972-1977
Resurrection had a school with 705-239 students.
Sullivan was appointed Auxiliary Bishop July 25, 1972, and ordained bishop Sept. 21, 1972.
|1969||1974||Property Planning Commission||Lansing||MI|
Kenneth Joseph Povish replaced Zaleski (1975-1995)
|1977||1985||St. Thomas Aquinas||East Lansing||MI||1/4, 1/3||
St. Thomas' had a school with 376-468 students.
Sullivan was appointed Bishop of Fargo April 2, 1985, and installed May 30, 1985.
James Stephen Sullivan was Fargo bishop (1985-2002)
Sullivan retired in May 2002, and was said at the time to have been in the middle stages of Alzheimer's disease.
Of the 2002 accusation that Sullivan had fondled a boy in 1966, church officials said they did not believe the accuser, "because he didn't tell them sooner." The accuser said he took so long to come forward because he thought no one would believe him.
Sullivan was succeeded by Samuel Joseph Aquila (2002-2012)
|2006||Holy Spirit||Fargo||ND||In residence.||
Sullivan died June 12, 2006
Sources: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1956-1986)
• "In My Opinion, This Man Was Severely Abused and Damged by Agents of the Catholic Church", By Range Stacey, Lansing State Journal, June 30, 2002