Robert Burns Whalen |

Robert Burns Whalen

Father Robert Burns Whalen, age 87, died on May 3, 2014, in Rutland, Vermont. Father Whalen was born January 13th, 1927, in Rutland, Vermont, the son of Thomas and Grace (Burns) Whalen. He attended St. Thomas Seminary, Bloomfield, Connecticut, and St. Paul’s Seminary, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. He was ordained to the priesthood on April 11, 1951, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception by Bishop Edward F. Ryan.

His priestly ministry began as parochial vicar at St. Francis of Assisi Parish, Windsor (1951). He also served at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Burlington (1951-1952), St. Norbert Parish, Hardwick (1952-1954), St. Augustine Parish, Montpelier (1954-1956) and Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish, Rutland (1956-1960).

Following his 20 years as chaplain in the United States Air Force, during which he was awarded the Bronze Star, he returned to Vermont and was assigned his first pastorate at St. Patrick Parish, Wallingford (1980-1990). He also served as pastor at St. John the Baptist Parish, Castleton (1990-1997).

Father Whalen was granted senior priest status in January of 1997. On June 20, 2001, he agreed to become pastor of St. Bridget Parish, West Rutland, from June 2001 until July 2004, when he returned to senior priest status. He assisted at numerous parishes up until the time of his death, including St. Patrick Parish, Minturn, Colorado, and Holy Name Parish, Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

His diocesan responsibilities included Defender of the Bond, Diocesan Consulter and Dean of the Rutland Deanery.

A patriarch of the Whalen family, he baptized, married and celebrated the deaths of the entire family over the years.

He was the Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus, a member of the Veterans of Foreign War and the American Legion.

Survivors include a sister, Mary Kay (Whalen) Hoffman and her husband, Peter, of Hackettstown, PA. and numerous cousins.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Wednesday, May 7, 2014, at 11:00 a.m. in St. Bridget Parish, West Rutland, Vermont, with Monsignor John J. McDermott, apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Burlington, as principal celebrant.

Steamboat Springs – There will be a memorial Mass for Father Bob at Holy Name Church. Thursday, May 15th, 2014 at 5:30

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User