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RICHMOND, VA. (AP) - Dignitaries, friends and family attended a Mass of Christian Burial for former Bishop Walter F. Sullivan, the longest-serving spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Richmond.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, in the Cathedral with Entombment following in the Cathedral Crypt.
Sullivan's successor, Bishop Francis X. DiLorenzo, will preside Wednesday at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, located at 800 Cathedral Place in Richmond.
Sullivan served 29 years as the diocese's 11th bishop. He was an activist bishop, welcoming gay and lesbian Catholics to diocese churches and speaking out against the death penalty.
The diocese says Gov. Bob McDonnell and Sen.-elect Tim Kaine and their spouses are expected to attend. Archbishop William Lori of Baltimore is also expected to be in attendance.
The church is expecting nearly 1500 people, including bishops from all across the county, to attend the funeral.
To make room for the influx of people, the Student Commons Theater at Virginia Common Wealth University has been rented to help seat additional people.
Full Schedule of Events:Tuesday, December 18th: 2PM: Bishop Sullivan's body is received at the Cathedral by his family for a private hour of devotion 3PM: Public Visitation until Evening Prayer 6:30PM: Evening Prayer / Vigil Service -Afterwards the Bishop will continue to lie in state at the Cathedral all night. Wednesday, December 19th: 10:30PM: Mass of Christian Burial 12:30PM: Private interment in the Cathedral Crypt 2:00PM: Public visitation in the crypt
SULLIVAN, Walter F., D.D.,The Most Reverend Bishop Emeritus of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, died on Tuesday, December 11, 2012, at the age of 84.
Bishop Sullivan was born on June 10, 1928, in Washington, D.C. He was educated at Blessed Sacrament in Washington, D.C., St. Charles College in Cantonsville, Maryland, and St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland. Bishop Sullivan was ordained to the priesthood on May 9, 1953, in Richmond, Virginia. He studied canon law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and received his degree in 1960. He became Secretary of the Diocesan Tribunal in May of that year. The then Father Sullivan was named Chancellor of the Diocese in February, 1965, and Rector of the Cathedral in October of 1967. He was ordained an auxiliary Bishop for the Diocese on December 1, 1970, and was installed as the Bishop of the newly redrawn Diocese of Richmond on July 19, 1974. His pastoral assignments in the Diocese of Richmond included, Associate pastor at St. Andrew's Parish in Roanoke and St. Mary's Parish in Fort Monroe (Hampton), and rector and pastor at the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Richmond, Virginia.
Bishop Sullivan served on the boards of the Churches' Center for Theology and Public Policy in Washington, D.C., the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy and on numerous diocesan boards. He has been on the boards of the National Catholic Office for Persons with Disabilities, the Christian Children's Fund based in Richmond, the Catholic Committee of Appalachia and on the Administrative Board of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. Likewise, he served as the Bishop-President of Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace movement.
Special guest and attendees: Ecumenical Officials (Tuesday, Dec. 18) Bishop Shannon Johnston, Episcopal Diocese of Virginia Rev. Marco Grimaldo, Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy Pastor Eric Moehring, Virginia Synod Church Officials – Wednesday, Dec. 19 Most Rev. Theodore Cardinal McCarrick, Retired Archbishop of Washington Most Rev. John Ricard, s.s.j., Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore Most Rev. David E. Foley, Retired Bishop of Birmingham Most Rev. Paul S. Loverde, Bishop of Arlington Most Rev. Richard Higgins, Auxiliary Bishop for the Military Services Most Rev. Dennis Madden, Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore Government Officials – Wednesday, Dec. 19 Governor Bob McDonnell and First Lady Maureen McDonnell Secretary of the Commonwealth, Janet Kelly Jasen Eige, the Governor's Counselor and Senior Policy Advisor Senator-Elect Tim Kaine and Anne Holton