09 Jun Canon Frank O’Sullivan Remembered
Canon Frank O’Sullivan RIP
It is clear from the testimonies of his family, Canon Frank O’Sullivan placed great importance on the love of family. His sister Marie mentions that when their family left for Australia, Frank would always keep in touch at Christmas and birthdays, continually showing an interest in what their family was doing. He often said Mass for any of them who were sick, and they were always each other’s prayers.
Marie retains many of the letters he wrote while on his travels, and copies of his religious writings that have enriched the lives of many other people. Marie movingly notes that in their last conversation, “he was talking about the great importance of love in our daily lives, and the very last thing he said before saying goodbye that day was ‘carry on’.”
His nephew writes of Father Frank’s life before the priesthood in which he served valiantly in the RAF, qualifying (with an exceptional score) as a navigator and he saw active service on and after D-Day over the Bay of Biscay, and in Sri Lanka. He returned to his previous role on the railways when de-mobbed. In 1948 he was called to the priesthood and was given his first parish in Blackheath in 1956.
His involvement in Marriage Encounter brought him a huge amount of personal satisfaction and enrichment, and his responsibilities for this grew to national level.
Tributes from both Great Malden 3 and Purley Teams for whom he had been chaplain, spoke of an energetic man who was a great communicator, always well prepared to the point when he would work late into the night to prepare resources, talks and courses; and a great contributor to the success of their Teams Retreats. They also testify to the the wonderful networks that still exist 30 years after he left St Joseph’s Parish. A priest who was able to inspire a love of scripture and church.
He is remembered as both a spiritual advisor and a dear friend and members of Teams tell us of feeling blessed to have been able to share their experiences of the wonderful sacrament of marriage with him.
Canon Frank O’Sullivan was laid to rest on 21 January 2021