John A. Whelan, O.S.A.

1894 – 1953 (April 11)

John Andrew Whelan, son of Michael Whelan and Rose Tracy was born in Lawrence, Massachusetts on July 5, 1894, and was baptized there in the Church of St. Laurence O’Toole. He attended Lawrence High School and then one year at Villanova Prep before entering the novitiate at Villanova in 1916. He professed simple vows on June 24, 1917 and solemn vows on June 27, 1920. That same year he received his B.A. from Villanova. Following theological studies, he was ordained to the priesthood on September 22, 1923 by Bishop Michael Crane at Villanova.

Father Whelan served for two years as a professor in St. Augustine’s School in Havana, Cuba. In 1926 he was assigned to St. Augustine Parish, Andover, MA., and in 1929 was  transferred to St. Mary’s in Lawrence. He returned to Cuba in 1932 for one year and then to Malvern Preparatory School in 1933. He was stationed at Holy Rosary Parish, Lawrence from 1935 until 1939, when he was appointed sub-prior of the community of St. Nicholas of Tolentine in the Bronx. There followed assignments to St. Augustine in Philadelphia, St. John in Schaghticoke, St. in Greenwich and St. Paul in Mechanicville. 

Father Whelan suffered a heart attack on Good Friday, in April, 1953. He died a week later in Troy Hospital on April 11, at the age of 58. The Funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Paul’s Church, Mechanicville. A second Mass was offered at St. Laurence O’Toole Parish in Lawrence, MA., followed by burial in St. Mary’s Cemetery, Lawrence.