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Fr. Patrick Sullivan

Updated: Sep 14, 2021

Patrick Sullivan was born in 1952. He graduate from Crookston High School in 1970 and attended St. John's Seminary in Collegeville, MN. He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Crookston by Bishop Victor Balke in 1982.

In 2009, Fr. Sullivan was accused by Doe 457 of sexual abuse while in ministry in St. Mary's Mission Church at Red Lake Reservation. In 2009, Fr. Sullivan was sent to St. John Vianney Center in Downingtown, PA.

"Crookston Diocese Bishop Michael Hoeppner’s decision to reinstate Fr. Patrick Sullivan to public ministry is dangerous and deceptive. Bishop Hoeppner’s announcement to return Fr. Sullivan to ministry after suspending him in 2016 due to a report that he sexually abused a minor signals another action by Hoeppner that puts the welfare of priests and the reputation of the diocese above the safety of the community and children." Jeff Anderson 12-27-17.

While serving as pastor at St. Mary's Mission Parish on the Red Lake Indian Reservation (1997-2009), Fr. Sullivan fired Gary Lee Wipf in September 2001. Mr. Wipf was school janitor and basketball/ baseball coach at St. Mary’s Mission for more than a decade. On April 12th, 2002, Gary Lee Wipf, 42, was charged with possession of “material containing an image of child pornography".

On May 28, 2003 Gary Wipf was sentenced to 40 years in prison and five years of supervised released on charges of aggravated sexual abuse.

On April 29, 2016, the diocese was informed that Fr. Sullivan was accused of having sexually abused a 15-year-old boy in Red Lake in 2008.

Fr. Sullivan was placed on Administrative Leave pending an investigation. Fr. Sullivan was removed from ministry in 2016 after being served the Doe 457 lawsuit. On Dec. 23, 2017, Bishop Hoeppner reinstated Fr. Sullivan at St. Elizabeth's Church in Dilworth and St. Andrew's in Hawley. In February 2019, Bishop Hoeppner placed Fr. Sullivan on adminsitrative leave due to new allegations of boundary issues.

Official Statement June 8, 2021: "The case of sexual abuse of a minor brought against Father Patrick Sullivan, a Priest of the Diocese of Crookston has been closed by the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith of the Vatican. Through a thorough, years’ long investigation, it was determined that the allegation made against Rev. Sullivan “is not credible and therefore unfounded.”

The investigation was conducted under the supervision of Archbishop Bernard Hebda, Archbishop of St. Paul and Minneapolis.


Sacred Heart Parish in East Grand Forks, MN (1982-1984)

St. John's Parish in Nebish, MN, Lived at Neuman Center on BSU Campus in Bemidji,MN(1984-1987)

Bemidji State University, Campus Minister,Lived at Neuman Center on Campus, Bemidji, MN (1984-1990)

Sacred Heart Parish in Wilton, MN, Lived at the Neuman Center on BSU Campus in Bemidji, MN


St. Mary's Parish in Warroad, MN (1990-1997)

St Philips Parish in Falun, MN ( a mission Parish of St. Mary's in Warroad) (1990-1997)

St. Mary's Mission Parish in Red Lake, MN (1997-2009)

Sacred Heart Parish in Wilton, MN (1997-1998 and 2006-2009) (a mission Parish of St. Mary's Mission in Red Lake)

St. John's Parish in Nebish, MN (1997-2007) (a mission Parish of St. Mary's Mission in Red Lake)

St. Josephs Parish in Bagley, MN (2003-2004) (a mission Parish of St. Mary's Mission in Red Lake)

St. Elizabeth's Parish in Dilworth, MN (2009-2016)

St. Andrew's Parish in Hawley, MN (2009- 4/29/16) (a mission Parish of St. Elizabeth's Parish, Dilworth)

St. Joseph,in Ada, MN, St. William, Twin Valley, MN, (2021) Fr Sullivan was appointed by Bishop Richard Pates (Apostolic Administrator). Although Fr. Sullivan is listed as pastor in the parish bulletin, he is only able to hold the position of administrator of the parishes since the diocese is without a bishop.

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