VERY REV. EDWARD J. WHELAN
An outstanding figure in San Francisco Catholicism is the Very Rev. Edward J. Whelan, who is the president of the
University of San Francisco (formerly St. Ignatius College), and is the rector of the St. Ignatius Roman Catholic
Church parish. He was born at Twelfth and Mission streets in San Francisco on September 20, 1887, and is a son
of James J. and the late Mary (Kelly) Whelan.
James J. Whelan, now living in San Francisco at the venerable age of eighty three (1931), is a native of Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania, and came to San Francisco in the '60s. Here he engaged in building wooden ships, and was associated
with his brother under the firm name of John Whelan & Brother in the occupation of ship chandler. He was a
member of the South End Rowing Club in pioneer days, and of the Knights of Columbus. He now makes frequent visits
to the water front of the city, where he is well known and respected among the old time shipping men. His wife,
who is still living, was born in New York, and came to San Francisco, where she married Mr. Whelan, who had preceded
her to this city.
Rev. Whelan attended the Crocker grammar school at Paige and Baker streets in San Francisco, and St. Ignatius College.
He studied for the priesthood at the Novitiate in Los Gatos, California, and for three years in Spokane, Washington.
From 1913 until 1919, he was professor of Latin and English at Santa Clara College, California, after which he
passed four years in study in Burgos, Spain. He was ordained as a Jesuit priest in 1921, and in 1925 he became
president of the University of San Francisco, which responsible position he has been fulfilling with marked success.
He has a wide reputation as an orator, and has always been a profound student of theology. He is rector of St.
Ignatius Church, which is connected with the University of San Francisco, and he is a member of the Knights of
Columbus. He has taken a sincere interest in affairs of the city, and has given his cooperation wherever it has
been possible in movements which he considered of merit.
The History of San Francisco, California
Lewis Francis Byington, Supervising Editor
Oscar Lewis, Associate Editor
The S. J. Clark Publishing Company
Chicago-San Francisco 1931
San Francisco, CA
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