site image


Most Reverend Robert E. Mulvee, DD, JCD

February 15, 1930 ~ December 28, 2018 (age 88)

Most Reverend Robert E. Mulvee, D.D., J.C.D., 88, Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Providence died Friday, December 28, 2018.

Born in Boston, MA, a son of the late John F. and Jennie T. (Bath) Mulvee, he attended Boston schools.

In preparation for the priesthood, he studied at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, Connecticut; St. Paul Seminary at the University of Ottawa, Canada; and at the American College in Louvain, Belgium.  He was ordained a priest for service in the Diocese of Manchester, New Hampshire on June 30, 1957 in Louvain, Belgium.

Following his ordination, Father Mulvee served as Chaplain at St. Charles Orphanage, Rochester, at St. Leo Parish, Gonic, and at St. Peter Parish, Farmington.  He then served as assistant pastor at St. Catherine Parish (1958-60) and at St. Joseph Cathedral (1960-61).  Between 1961 and 1964, he made postgraduate studies and earned a Doctorate in Canon Law (J.C.D.) at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome. That year, Father Mulvee also received a master’s degree in religious education from the University of Louvain.

In July 1964, Father Mulvee was appointed assistant chancellor of the Diocese of Manchester. He also served in several diocesan posts, including judge and notary of the Diocesan Tribunal, a Diocesan Consultor, Bishop’s Master of Ceremonies, Secretary to the Diocesan Synod and as a member of various diocesan commissions.  In 1966 he was appointed a Papal Chamberlain by Saint Pope Paul VI with the title of Monsignor and, in 1970, a Prelate of Honor.  

Monsignor Mulvee was named chancellor of the Diocese of Manchester in 1972, the post he held at the time of his appointment as the first Auxiliary Bishop of Manchester.  He was ordained a Bishop on April 14, 1977 at St. Joseph Cathedral, Manchester.  As Auxiliary Bishop, he served as Vicar General and Chairman of the Personnel Board of the Diocese of Manchester.  

From February 1985 until February 1995, he served as the seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Wilmington, Delaware.  Nationally, he served on various committees and boards of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops (NCCB), such as member of the Bishops’ National Advisory Council; chairman of the Bishops’ Board for the American College of Louvain, Belgium; member of the NCCB Administrative Board and the Committee on Personnel and Administrative Services; member of the NCCB Campaign for Human Development Committee; member of the Committee for the Nomination of Officers for the NCCB and the U.S. Catholic Conference; and member of the Joint Committee of Orthodox and Roman Catholic Bishops.  In addition, Bishop Mulvee was chairman of the New England Council of Church Leaders and Ecumenical Council of Christian Denominational Executives and was a member of the Board of Trustees of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC; of St. Mary Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland; and of the Catholic University of America.  As a member of the committee for Catholic Relief Services (CRS), he travelled to some of the poorest areas of the world.  Bishop Mulvee was also Chairman of the Human Resources Committee for CRS.  
In July, 1993, Bishop Mulvee became a Chaplain ad honorem in the Federal Association of the Order of Malta.

On February 7, 1995 Bishop Mulvee was appointed Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Providence by Saint John Paul II and was officially welcomed to the diocese on March 27, 1995.  On June 11, 1997 he was appointed as the seventh Bishop of the Diocese of Providence and served with zeal and distinction until March 31, 2005 when he retired as Bishop Emeritus.  

Bishop Mulvee was awarded many honorary doctoral degrees.  He served on the Board of Trustees of Providence College, Salve Regina University and of Saint John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Massachusetts.  

During his retirement years, Bishop Mulvee lived seasonally in Florida, and at the Cathedral Residence in Providence.  In his retirement, Bishop Mulvee continued to assist the Diocese by presiding at pontifical ceremonies and confirmations within the Diocese of Providence.  In 2017, Bishop Mulvee celebrated his 60th anniversary of priestly ordination, and his 40th anniversary as a Bishop. 

He leaves a brother, Paul Mulvee, many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. He was beloved by all the diocesan priests, especially his best friend, Rev. Humbert Oliveira.

Reception of the body will be on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 3PM, in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Fenner Street, Providence.  

Visitation in the Cathedral follows until 7PM. 

Evening Prayer on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 7PM, in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Providence. 

A Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Thursday, January 10, 2019 at 11AM in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Providence.  
Burial will follow in St. Ann Cemetery, Cranston.

Any donations in memory of Bishop Mulvee can be made to support either the diocesan homeless shelter Emmanuel House, 239 Public Street, Providence, RI 02905  or to The Most Reverend Robert E. Mulvee Endowment Fund for the Education of Seminarians c/o Stewardship and Development Office, 1 Cathedral Square, Providence, RI  02903 would be appreciated. 

Donations may be made to:

Emmanuel House
239 Public Street, Providence RI 02905

The Most Reverend Robert E. Mulvee Endowment Fund for the Education of Seminarians
c/o Stewardship and Development Office, 1 Cathedral Square, Providence RI 02903

© 2019 Russell J Boyle & Son Funeral Homes, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS