Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Lecture Series in Catholic Studies

The Bishop Walter F. Sullivan Chair in Catholic Studies at VCU was established as a retirement gift by the congregation of the Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in 2003 for the Most Rev. Walter F. Sullivan who served as the 11th bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Richmond for 30 years. The endowment that supports the chair also brings diverse speakers including academics, artists and clergy to speak on a range of issues related to Catholicism. Previous lecture topics have ranged from the Haiti earthquake to Catholicism in Asia.

All lectures are free and open to the public.

Upcoming Events

VCU School of World Studies is hosting Professor Emeritus Virginia Garrand of University of Texas for a Bishop Sullivan Catholic Studies Lecture titled

God's Man in Ixcán, Guatemala: The Revolutionary Ministry of Padre Patricio

Date: Monday, Apr 17, 2023

Dr. Virginia Garrand speaks about Padre Patricio, a Northern Irish Catholic priest who became chaplain to the Guerrilla Army of the Poor.

Bishop Sullivan

bishop walter francis sullivan and andrew chesnut
Bishop Sullivan and Andrew Chesnut, Ph.D.

Bishop Walter Francis Sullivan served as the Eleventh Bishop of Richmond, Virginia from July 19, 1974 to September 16, 2003.

Born in D.C., he attended seminary at St. Charles College and St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore. In 1960, he was awarded a degree in Canon law by Catholic University. Bishop Sullivan was ordained as a priest for the Diocese of Richmond on May 9, 1953, and in 1960 became Secretary of the Diocesan Tribunal. He was installed as the Bishop of the Diocese of Richmond on July 19, 1974.

Bishop Sullivan was widely recognized for his service as a national leader within the Catholic community in the cause of justice and peace. For a decade, between 1991 and 2001, he served as Bishop-President of Pax Christi USA, the national Catholic peace movement. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 84.