Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul Sister Mary William Sullivan died July 23, 2017 at The Sarah Community in Bridgeton, Mo. Sister donated her body to science. A Memorial Mass for Sister will be celebrated at The Sarah Community’s Marian Chapel on Saturday, August 12, 2017—at 4:00 PM with the Sharing of Memories; and at 5:00 PM for the Memorial Mass. Sister celebrated 73 years vocation as a Daughter of Charity in December of 2016.
Sister Mary William was born October 29, 1925 in St. Louis, Mo. Baptized Florence Ann, Sister Mary William was one of four children born to William J. Sullivan of St. Louis and Lillian (O’Meara) Sullivan of County Tipperary, Ireland. Sister’s aunts, Sister Anastasia Sullivan, D.C., and Sister Mary Helen Sullivan, D.C., and her cousin, Sister Patricia Sullivan, D.C., (all deceased) were members of the Community. Sister Mary William was a 1943 graduate of Xavier High School in St. Louis. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Education from Fontbonne College (University) in St. Louis in 1951; and she earned her Master of Social Work Degree from the Catholic University of American, Washington, D.C., in 1955.
After completing her initial formation, Sister Mary William was missioned to St. Rose Home, Milwaukee, Wis., to serve as Housemother and Teacher (1945 to 1949). She then was missioned to San Francisco, Cal., where she taught middle grades at St. Vincent DePaul School (1949 to 1953). Sister worked toward her MSW degree in Washington, D.C., (1953 to 1955). She then was missioned to Chicago, Ill., where she served as Director of the School-Age Care Program at Marillac House (1955 to 1959). In 1959, Sister Mary William was named the Director of the Extension Program in Public Housing in Chicago (1959 to 1964). Sister next served as the Administrator of Marillac House, Chicago (1964 to 1968). While Administrator at Marillac House, Sister had the privilege of working with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sister Mary William was then missioned to Dallas, Tex., where she served as a Social Worker at St. Paul Medical Center (1968 to 1969). She then worked as a District Caseworker at the Dallas County Welfare Department (1969 to 1970), and then as the Director of the C.E.O. Headstart Program in Dallas (1970 to 1972).
Sister Mary William returned to St. Louis in 1972 to serve as a School Social Worker at Central Catholic Community School (1972 to 1974). From 1974 to 1980, Sister Mary William served on the Board of Directors for DePaul Health Center in Bridgeton, and, during this time, she was appointed Director of Guardian Angel Settlement Association (1974 to 1981). Sister next ministered as Associate Executive Director of Catholic Charities in the Archdiocese of St. Louis (1981 to 1983). Sister Mary William was again missioned to Texas to serve this time as Program Developer at Catholic Family Services, Amarillo (1984), and as a Social Worker at DePaul Center, Waco (1984 to 1988). Following a brief period of work at the former Marillac Provincial House in St. Louis, Sister was named the Administrator of Marywood (Home of Holy Infancy) in Austin, Tex. (1989 to 1992). Sister once again returned home to St. Louis to minister in Fund Development and Vocation work at the former Marillac Provincial House in St. Louis (1992 to 1993). Sister was missioned one more time to Texas to serve in Parish Social Ministry at St. Mary’s Cathedral Parish in Austin (1993 to 2009). In February of 2009, Sister Mary William joined the Ministry of Prayer at The Sarah Community in Bridgeton, Mo., where she served until the time of her death.
Sister Mary William was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, William J. Sullivan; and her sister, Jane Hildebrand. She is survived by her brother, John F. Sullivan (Joanne), of St. Louis, her many devoted nieces and nephews, and her Sisters in Community.