Hundreds Bid Farewell to Fr. O’Sullivan


St. Irenaeus Church in Park Forest on Saturday. (Photo: ENEWSPF)

Park Forest, IL–(ENEWSPF)– St. Irenaeus Church was filled to capacity Saturday as hundreds gathered to bid farewell to Fr. Daniel J. O’Sullivan, who died December 15. Family members and parishioners from St. Irenaeus gathered along with many others who knew Fr. Dan through the years, including fellow priests, and Bishop Joseph N. Perry.

Father Jim Friedel began his homily by reflecting on why Fr. O’Sullivan asked him to preside at the funeral liturgy, “When I was asked to serve in this capacity, I wondered what Dan had in mind. One day, if I, like he, am lucky to sit on the lap of the Father, he and I are going to have a little conversation.” 

The congregation laughed with him at this.

Friedel remembered O’Sullivan as an Irish storyteller, “The Irish have a marvelous way of saying things, and the word that I would use for Dan is seanchai, the Irish storyteller.  If Dan did anything, he told stories – but if Jesus did anything, he told stories. He told some 56, 57 stories. We’ve turned him into a lot of other things, but Jesus was fundamentally a storyteller.”

Asking the congregation to recall some of the stories Fr. O’Sullivan told throughout his life, “maybe more than once,” asking, "isn’t it like looking through a window at somebody’s life?  And the longer you look at that person’s life through that window, slowly but surely, the window turns around, into a mirror, imaging your life in the one who’s life you’re looking at through the window.  Isn’t that what Jesus did? Isn’t that what Dan did so well?”

After the liturgy, many gathered in the parish hall for a chance to share stories, renew acquaintances and remember Fr. Dan.