Log In

Robert Edward Mulvee Edit Profile

bishop , Catholic priest

Robert Edward Mulvee, bishop emeritus. Trustee National Shrine Immaculate Conception, Washington, 1987; Member of National Conference Catholic Bishops.


Mulvee, Robert Edward was born on February 15, 1930 in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. Son of John F. and Jennie T. (Bath) Mulvee.


Bachelor, University Seminary Ottawa, 1953. Bachelor of Philosophy, University Seminary Ottawa, 1953. Master of Religious Education, American College, Louvain, Belgium, 1957.

Doctor Canon Law, Lateran University, Rome, 1964. Doctor of Divinity (honorary), Rivier College, Nashua, New Hampshire, 1979.


He served as Bishop of Wilmington, Delaware (1985–1995) and Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island (1997–2005). While at Louvain, he was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire, on June 30, 1957. Mulvee did pastoral work for several years before furthering his studies in Europe, earning a doctorate in canon law from the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome (1964) and a Master's degree in religious education from the University of Louvain.

Following his return to the United States, he was named assistant chancellor of the Manchester Diocese and in 1966 a Papal Chamberlain. On February 15, 1977, Mulvee was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Manchester and Titular Bishop of Summa by Pope Paul VI. While in Manchester, Mulvee stayed as a guest at Saint Anselm Abbey. He received his episcopal consecration on the following April 14 from Bishop Odore Joseph Gendron, with Bishops Ernest John Primeau and John Francis Hackett serving as co-consecrators.

After the death of Bishop Thomas Joseph Mardaga, Mulvee was named the seventh Bishop of Wilmington, Delaware, on February 19, 1985. During his tenure as Bishop of Wilmington, he emphasized collegiality in his administration of the Diocese, helped restructure the Delmarva Ecumenical Agency into the Christian Council of Delaware and Maryland's Eastern Shore, and founded three new missions and raised a fourth to parish status. Mulvee was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of Providence, Rhode Island, on February 9, 1995, and later succeeded Louis Edward Gelineau as the seventh Bishop of Providence upon the latter's resignation on June 11, 1997.

In September 2002, Mulvee ended a 10-year-long (the longest in the nation) legal battle over clerical sexual abuse cases. Upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 75, Mulvee submitted his letter of resignation to Pope John Paul II on February 15, 2005. His resignation was accepted on March 31, 2005, and Bishop Thomas Joseph Tobin was appointed his successor.

He served as Apostolic Administrator of the Providence Diocese until Bishop Tobin's installation on the following May 31.


  • The position of Auxiliary Bishop was added to the Manchester Diocese in 1977. Mulvee was the first to attain this position.


Trustee National Shrine Imaculate Conception, Washington Distric, 1987. Member National Conference Catholic Bishops (campaign for human development committee 1985, joint committee Orthodox and Roman Catholic Bishops 1986, Chairman of the Board bishops American College of Louvain, Belgium, 1986, Catholic Relief Services board, 1987). National Conference Catholic Bishops/ United States Catholic Conference (administrative committee and board directors 1986, commission on personnel and administrative services 1987).


John F. Mulvee

Jennie T. (Bath) Mulvee