In 1968, Dianne Sullivan received a B.S. from Boston University School of Education and taught elementary school for five years. She was nominated to “Who’s Who in American Teachers” in 1970. In 1977, she earned an M.Ed. in Counseling from Northeastern University, and has taught as an adjunct professor at St. Joseph College’s Graduate School of Counseling.
Dianne has been a Marriage and Family Therapist for 25 years with a private practice specializing in individual and couples therapy. As a holistic practitioner, she draws from many disciplines including depth psychology, pastoral counseling and family systems utilizing tools such as Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). She is a certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, and her therapy dog provides comfort and a sense of security and relief to clients.
On May 31, 2014 Dianne was ordained to the sacred priesthood.
“It is an honor to serve others. It is a dream come true. As a woman, it is indeed necessary, that we serve the church in every and any capacity. This is a vehicle, among many vehicles, to serve others. Women relate well to others and care with compassion. Jesus was not exclusive so why should we. Any theological argument that support men only as priests, is in my opinion errant and perpetuates the patriarchal myth.
On November 7, 2015 she was Consecrated as Bishop by Bishop Lorraine Bouffard.
“I have not quite assimilated this privilege and responsibility. Like any role or position it takes time to grow into the edges and live it with heart.
As an intern of Clinical Pastoral Education at John Dempsey Hospital, she completed four units in the chaplaincy program and currently works as Hospice Chaplain for Constellation Health Services. This offers a sacred vehicle to care for patients and their families at end of life. “Without that kind of care, we are adrift on a lonely ocean,” she says.
In May of 2015, Dianne graduated from Hartford Seminary with a Master of Arts in Theology and Ethics. Her thesis entitled “The Role of Voluntary Poverty in Facing the Economic and Ecological Crises” can be found HERE.
Dianne and her husband John have been married for nearly 46 years; her adult children are her pride and joy. She often tells her clients she’s had ten different husbands, before explaining, “He’s not the same man in so many ways. And neither am I. We are both growing and evolving.”
Currently, Dianne has two books in the making. One of them, “Blessings, Rituals and Sacred Moments”, has grown out of her worship services at John Dempsey Hospital, her reflections, homilies and over ten years of leading women’s retreats. The second book is entitled, “Witness to Love. Radical Skills to Love Better.” which has grown out of her years as a therapist. “My clients have taught me that it takes great persistence, patience and courage to love. We all need to tease apart our mythology about love and get down to the actual lived experience we are having and let that teach us how to love better.”
Most Reverend Dianne Sullivan, Bishop of the Ecumenical Church of Hartford