Sister Elizabeth Sullivan, O.P. Formerly Sister M. Michael, a Dominican Sister of San Rafael, died on January 12, having celebrated 70 years of religious life in 2012.|
Born in Los Angeles, Elizabeth was the third eldest of ten children in her family. The Sullivan family was an active part of St. Dominic Parish in Eagle Rock and this is where she first met the Dominican Sisters.
Entering the convent, Sister Michael devoted herself to education for the next forty-three years in schools throughout Northern California and in Reno. She taught at the levels of elementary, middle and high school. She served as principal at Sacred Heart Elementary School in San Francisco, at St. Leander School in San Leandro, and at St. Raphael School in San Rafael. From 1972 to 1975, Sister Elizabeth served as Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Reno.
In 1988 Sister Elizabeth was appointed prioress of the congregation's motherhouse in San Rafael, overseeing the needs of the four-story Victorian and its residents. When in 1990 an accidental fire made the convent uninhabitable, Sister Elizabeth chose to relocate to St. Dominic Parish in southern California. There she was a special projects director for the school and organized a ministry to care for the elderly and the sick of the parish community.
For six years she served in pastoral care at Our Lady of Lourdes Convent, and following her retirement from that position, continued to share her love of prayer and celebration with the older sisters.
In recent years Sister Elizabeth was reunited with members of the 1957 eighth grade class from Sacred Heart School in San Francisco. Several of them came to celebrate her jubilee last summer, and honored her by establishing a scholarship fund in her name at Mission Dolores Academy.
Sister Elizabeth is survived by five sisters, Dorothy, Sister Francis, DC, Joanne, Jinny, Sister Barbara, OP, numerous nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, and their children, and by her Dominican Sisters.
A vigil will be held on Sunday, January 20 at 7:00 p.m. at the Dominican Sisters Center, 1520 Grand Avenue in San Rafael. Her funeral Mass will take place on Monday, January 21 at 10:00 a.m. at the same location, followed by a burial service at St. Dominic Cemetery in Benicia.
Contributions in memory of Sister Elizabeth may be made to Dominican Sisters of San Rafael, Development Office, 1520 Grand Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901.
Monte's Chapel of the Hills 415-453-8440 San Anselmo
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Jan. 19, 2013