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Long-time director of diocesan Buildings & Properties passes away


The offices of the Diocese of Buffalo shed a tear for Michael J. Sullivan, the long-time director of Buildings & Properties, who passed away Aug. 7, 2023, after a brief illness.

Sullivan started working with the diocese in 1985 as a project manager. In 1998, he was named director of Buildings & Properties. When a call came in from a parish or school, Sullivan would assess the situation, assemble the crews, and oversee the project.

“Mike’s job was anything to do with construction from a renovation to a repair to a roof to a wheelchair ramp,” said Steven Roth, associate director of Buildings & Properties.

Sullivan guided the renovation of St. Joseph Cathedral, the building of the new St. Mary Church in Swormville, the building of the Bishop Edward Head Residence in Lackawanna, and the rebuilding of SS. Columba-Brigid Church after a devastating fire, along with hundreds of other projects over his 38 years with the diocese.

“It has been said that Mike has been in every basement, attic, roof and crawlspace in every church, school, convent and rectory in the diocese,” said Roth.

Roth, who has worked with Sullivan for the past 30 years, calls him an amazing boss and a great friend to all his team.

“Mike Sullivan was the most loyal, hardest working employee you could ever find,” said Roth. “The diocese will never see another Mike Sullivan. He’s irreplaceable.”

Sullivan leaves behind his wife of 30 years Kathleen Laurich Sullivan, their children, Daniel (Hannah) Sullivan and Abigail (Thomas) Valone, a granddaughter Ada Sullivan, as well as his siblings John (Kathleen), Denis (Anne), Brian (Sharon), and Ret. Lt. Cmdr. Mary T. Sullivan.

Family will receive friends at D. Lawrence Ginnane Funeral Home, 3215 Delaware Ave., Kenmore on Friday, Aug. 11 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. A funeral Mass will be celebrated on Saturday, Aug. 12, at 10 a.m. at St. Andrew Church, 1525 Sheridan Drive, Kenmore.