Homily at the Funeral of Barry Sullivan '49
Below are the homily notes provided by Fr. Gerald Murray '76, homilist at the funeral for Barry Sullivan '49 on August 16, 2016.


sullivan02Homily Notes for the Funeral Mass for Barry F. Sullivan
August 16, 2016
St. Joseph's Parish | Bronxville, NY

We assemble here at St. Joseph Parish, Bronxville where Barry was a devoted parishioner for many years. Our thoughts go back to the Funeral Mass celebrated here in 2009 for his dear with Audrey, the love of Barry's life.

When Barry entered Regis High School in 1944 he saw above the front entrance the Regis shield and the words Deo et Patriae—For God and Country. That motto summarizes what Barry lived.

He also learned the Jesuit motto: Ad maiorem Dei gloriam: To the greater glory of God. Barry followed that motto in serving God and his country, his family, his community, and in his career in banking, community service and in the energy field.

These mottoes are made known to every entering Regis Freshman, not in translation; they are words cherished by every graduating senior.

Who made us, why did He make us, what does He want us to do with our lives, how are we supposed to treat our fellow men and women; what will God do to help us reach our dreams and aspirations? Education at Regis offered compelling answers to these questions.

Regis taught these lessons well to my Dad, Gerry Murray '49, and to Barry; I have benefited from the results of that education and Christian formation in their lives, and also was blessed to experience that in my own time at Regis (Class of '76).

On the Regis website you will find the Regis High School Profile:

"The young man who begins his four years of high school at Regis has manifested high intellectual ability and academic potential. He excelled in elementary school, and his performance on the Regis entrance examination placed him well within the top ten percent of the nation’s students of his age group. He has also demonstrated other interests and capabilities in school, parish and neighborhood activities. He thus brings to the Regis experience the promise of significant attainments as a scholar and a person."

They left out basketball: Barry and my Dad played on the 1948 undefeated team; then Barry played at Georgetown and was a leading scorer.

The Profile continues:

"Regis hopes to assist this talented young person to become a committed Christian whose love for Jesus Christ and his people motivates him to share his gifts and himself in the service of others.

"By graduation, the Regis High School student has an understanding of his unique worth and a perception of his strengths and limitations. Desiring to expand his self-knowledge, he approaches the future hopefully and humbly and is eager to explore the promise it holds for sustained growth."

In addition to going onto to Georgetown after Regis, Barry attended and graduated from Columbia College and the University of Chicago Business School. He had a very successful 34 year banking career at Chase Manhattan and First Chicago. He spent 10 years as Vice-Chairman of Sithe Energy.

Back to the Profile:

"By graduation the Regis High School student has grown in his fundamental orientation toward God and toward the Christian community. He has a good knowledge of the heritage and teachings of the Catholic Church; he realizes that commitment to Christ and to others within and outside the Church should be based on personal acceptance of the gift of faith; and he has an emerging conviction that so great a gift must be shared."

Barry was a serious Catholic: He supported Jesuit schools, serving on the boards of Regis and Georgetown, and helped the Cristo Rey High School program that began in Chicago; he worked with the Archdiocese of Chicago and the Archdiocese of New York, in particular at St. Joseph’s Seminary, Dunwoodie and on the Archdiocesan Finance Council.

The Profile continues:

"By graduation the Regis High School student has a growing appreciation for the intellectual life. He has already experienced many of the satisfactions that derive from intellectual pursuits, and has mastered the learning skills appropriate for a person of his age and development. He has encountered ideas and emotions expressed with beauty and power. He has been summoned to refinement of perception and disciplined thinking. …. And his knowledge of Catholic tradition has been deepened within the context of his growing capacity for mature faith. The prospect of expanding and deepening his knowledge is exciting, and he accepts the challenge to employ the tools of learning for a fuller understanding of himself and his world."

Barry was always interested in learning; he asked questions; he treated other people as worth listening to and learning from; he sought knowledge and truth.

A final entry from the Profile:

"By graduation, the Regis High School Student has acquired considerable knowledge of the many needs of local, national, and global communities. Desiring to take a place in these communities as a concerned and responsible adult committed to doing justice, he is developing his awareness and the skills necessary to live as a person for and with others."

We are pleased to see Mayor David Dinkins here this morning, with whom Barry served as Deputy Mayor for Finance and Economic Development and as chief operating officer of the New York City Board of Education. Barry worked on the very beneficial agreement with the USTA to build the National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows. Barry served his country in the US Army in Korea.

Barry liked to quote a saying he had heard, I think, from a Jesuit: "Service is the rent we pay for the space we occupy on Earth." Barry was a man of service. He appreciated the benefits that a good education offered to young men and women, and devoted much effort to promoting educational opportunities.

We pray for the repose of his soul.

We pray for the consolation of his children: Barry Jr., Gerald, Mariellen, Scott and John, and his 17 grandchildren; his sister Mariellen and brother in law Jim.

We ask God to remind us of all the good we experienced in knowing and loving Barry Sullivan, and ask God that we might show our gratitude by imitating his goodness.

Posted: 12/21/16