Fluent in English, Chinese, Latin, and Greek. A chaplain (and ranked as captain) in the US Navy. Lived for years in China and Taiwan. A Roman Catholic Vincentian priest. Erin’s great uncle Ted is a pretty interesting guy.

Erin’s great uncle Ted Sullivan—Jonah’s great great uncle—came to spend a couple days with us after a US navy reunion in Portland. Father Sullivan served aboard various destroyers during the Korean War, and this latest convention was an opportunity to reacquaint with old buddies and shipmates. Take turns telling lies to one another is the way he put it. He said he had a really good time.

Father Ted is fluent in Mandrin Chinese plus several dialects. As a Roman Catholic priest who worked during the pre-Vatican II days, he’s also intimately familar with Latin and Greek. (His native English is pretty good too.) Even at 83, his language skills are formidable and impressive.

Although he’s retired, he continues to say a Mass several Sundays a month at various parishes near his residence in Denver. He even said a Mass for Erin and Jonah while he was here. (When he first arrived I took him to a liquor store so he could get a small bottle of wine to consecrate. News to us: Liquor stores in Oregon are prohibited from selling beer or wine. We had to go to Roth’s to get the spirit he was looking for.)

We watched some football on TV, swapped opinions, and told stories. His navy years and his time in China were quite interesting. I hope he’ll take to narrating them or writing them down. I think it’d be make for very interesting historical reading. Certainly, listening to some of his tales made for a fascinating couple of days. Many thanks to Father Ted for including us on his trip to Oregon!