Sister Ann Marie Sullivan died at Lankenau Hospital on August 8, 2022. Born and raised in Bayonne, New Jersey, to her parents Agnes and Peter, Ann shared her life with her sister Agnes and her brother Peter called “Mickey.” She attended St. Vincent’s Elementary School, where, as a first grader, she was put in charge of distributing and collecting crayons. Ann was off and running and knew, at an early age, she was ready for “any good work.”
Ann graduated from Holy Family Academy in Bayonne and returned years later as an English teacher, head of alumni, and moderator of the Mothers’ Club. As luck would have it, Agnes, was president of the club, and together they made an unequal team as they organized events to raise funds for Holy Family Academy. Many a weekend, Ann, Agnes, and her children would be at the convent filling orders of Avon products. Their energy was boundless. When Agnes died at a young age, Ann stepped up to the plate pouring loving support to her nieces and nephews. Their care and needs became Ann’s top priority.
Just as Holy Family would remain in her heart when she moved on to other assignments, Union Catholic High School in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, became her second home. Percylee Hart, Sister of Mercy, and visionary, life-giving principal of Union Catholic became her employer and trusted friend. Ann served in the Guidance Department where she befriended students, parents, and colleagues. Also a dedicated parishioner of Immaculate Heart of Mary, Ann was an original participant in the Engaging Disciples Initiative.
When Ann became sick, she packed her overnight bags for surgery to be followed by recovery at Saint Joseph Villa, a New Jersey retreat, and a return to Union Catholic in the fall to begin her thirtieth year of service. In her last months, Ann grew in patience and trust, waiting for the next doctor’s report, the next procedure, the next physical therapy, the next ambulance trip. She would say, “I don’t know, I’m not sure, I have to wait and see, I hope so….” Ann, the care giver, became the recipient of care. Her beloved family, her precious friends, Sisters Helen Miller, Maureen Erdlen, Kathy Boyle, and the prayer presence of Ann’s Union Catholic Community supported her to the end.
Not using her legs for four months and seventeen days, Ann stepped up to the plate August 8th with her rosary in her hand and hit a home run, landing her into eternity. A dedicated New York Yankees fan, Ann was welcomed into Heaven’s Hall of Fame by her family, her SSJ friends, Genevieve, Agnes Shields, Barbara Howard, and, of course, Joe DiMaggio. Her steadfast love and loving heart will never leave us. Keep swinging, Ann