What kinda person would do the Heart of the Bible?
Kevin Sullivan has read and studied the Bible for decades, thinks it’s the most important book ever written and sees no contradiction in believing we that don’t have to spend a lot of time poring over every verse to get at ”the Book’s” essence – God’s creative and saving love for all humanity – open to each of us.
You’d never guess Kevin Sullivan was a priest or a Monsignor, for that matter… if you met him away from his “churchy” haunts. Most people know Kevin (aka Monsignor) from one of the many other professional hats he wears. Very few know him as the truest definition of a Gemini – a mixture of paradoxes. Kevin’s deeply spiritual and irreverently obsessed with the dark circles of secular culture & social media. Flowing church vestments and JLO’s scant stage attire catch his eye. Kevin stanchly holds that self-help and God’s help are bff’s in the quest for success, fulfillment and happiness.
He epitomizes the yin and yang of everything. His calendar is the proof!! An Israeli high school near Gaza and Iraqi refugee camps near Mosul have been on his itinerary. Meeting garment workers in Bangladesh and attending black tie galas are marked for the same week. Mass and preaching and raucous community meetings are side by side. Comforting the sick in hospitals segues into challenging politicians over flawed public policies.
If you happen to meet him at his day gig as CEO of Catholic Charities you might not hear him curse like a sailor, but you would see his dedication to helping “the least among us.” If you caught him in rare form hosting his own weekly Sirius radio talk show or guesting on Jenny McCarthy’s, you’d swear he was the most liberal conservative you’d ever heard. If you sat in on a graduate class he taught at NYU or Notre Dame; or served with him on a Mayor or Governor’s transition team; or were a co-panelist for a Presidential debate; or if you heard him preach on Sunday or at the funeral of a stock exchange President or grass roots community activist, you’d bet money that he
a) thinks that too much of the whole organized religion thing is a farce but he’s playing the game like a true baller to mine and share the golden nuggets that Jesus left us; or
b) really relishes being the token Catholic in diverse secular settings and is at his best navigating through political land mines; or
c) believes heavenly hope and earthly cynicism are perfect strategic partners in making make the world a better place.
At the spry age of 65, he’s been there and done (most of) that: Woodstock ✔ Parish Priest ✔ 9/11 ✔ Popes (including Pope Francis) & Presidents ✔ Country Estates & County Jails ✔ Beyoncé Concert ✔✔ Writer, preacher, blogger, executive, listener, ✔✔✔✔✔
Above all, he is human. Kevin has loved and been loved. He laughs and cries easily. He only accepts what rings true to him about religion (including the Bible), politics, friends, life’s “should’s” and most everything that constrains us mere mortals. In all his gigs, he listens and talks. Kevin listens well – most of the time. And what he talks about are authentic hopes, dreams, insecurities and fears that strike a chord with many of us human folk.
Learn more about his professional accolades, education and the blah, blah blahs of his very impressive CV.
Monsignor Kevin Sullivan
Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York