Deacon Thomas Sullivan Pilot file photo
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This is the fourth in a series of articles profiling each of the nine men who will be ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Seán P. O'Malley at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross on May 21. Earlier articles in the series are available at TheBostonPilot.com.
BRIGHTON -- Deacon Thomas Sullivan has lived his life surrounded by clergy. One paternal uncle is a permanent deacon; another is a Josephite priest. His paternal aunt is a sister of the Blessed Sacrament. He also has two great uncles who are priests -- one is a Redemptorist Father, the other a Passionist Father.
"You can kind of say vocations run in my family," he said with a smile.
"That being the atmosphere I grew up in, religious vocations was never something that seemed like an impossibility," he said.
Although he cannot pinpoint the exact moment he felt called to the priesthood, Deacon Sullivan does recall sitting in the pews at St. Theresa of the Child Jesus in Watertown thinking to himself, "I could do that."
"I am very lucky that I come from a faithful family," he said. "Priests and religious didn't seem to me to be people up on pedestals, they were all just my uncles."
Deacon Sullivan attended Boston College High School, graduating in 2000. Four years later, he graduated with a philosophy degree from Boston College, always convinced that one day he would enter the seminary.