Robert Louis Whelan

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Robert Louis Whelan, SJ (April 16, 1912 – September 15, 2001) was a 20th-century bishop in the Catholic Church in the United States. He served as Bishop of the Diocese of Fairbanks in the state of Alaska from 1969-85.[1]

Born in Wallace, Idaho to Joseph F. and Mary Frances (Kern) Whelan, Whelan had professed religious vows as a Jesuit, and was ordained a Catholic priest on June 17, 1944. On December 6, 1967 Pope Paul VI named him Titular Bishop of Sicilibba and Coadjutor Bishop of Fairbanks. He was consecrated on February 22, 1968 by Archbishop Luigi Raimondi, Apostolic Delegate to the United States. The co-consecrators were Archbishop John Joseph Thomas Ryan of Anchorage and Bishop Francis Doyle Gleeson, SJ of Fairbanks. He succeeded to the See of Fairbanks on November 15, 1968 when Bishop Gleeson resigned as the diocesan bishop, and was installed on February 13, 1969. He served the diocese for a total of 17 years. He requested a coadjutor bishop and on March 8, 1984 Pope John Paul II named Michael Joseph Kaniecki, SJ coadjutor. His resignation as Bishop of Fairbanks was accepted by the pope on June 1, 1985.[2]


  1. ^ "Diocese of Fairbanks". Retrieved 2010-09-21. 
  2. ^ "Bishop Robert Louis Whelan". Retrieved 2010-05-13. 
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Francis Doyle Gleeson
Bishop of Fairbanks
Succeeded by
Michael Joseph Kaniecki

Episcopal lineage
Consecrated by: Luigi Raimondi
Consecrator of
Bishop Date of consecration
Michael Joseph Kaniecki May 1, 1984