The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

The Catholic Church across Yorkshire's historic West Riding since 1878

Fr Robert Whiteside RIP

The Diocese of Leeds is sad to announce the death of Fr Robert Whiteside, aged eighty-one, on Christmas Eve 2022 in Ireland. He had been poorly for some time. Please remember Fr Bob and his family and friends in your prayers at this time.

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen.

Fr Robert Whiteside RIP

Fr Whiteside was born on 25 April 1941. His parents were the late Henry and Rose Whiteside, and he came from County Derry, Northern Ireland. He studied for the priesthood at All Hallows College in Dublin and was ordained for the Diocese of Leeds at All Hallows on 15 June 1969.

From 1969 to 1975 he served as assistant priest in the parish of St Theresa at Cross Gates in Leeds, where he is still fondly remembered. In 1975 he joined the staff of his alma mater and remained at All Hallows until his retirement, serving for a period as Vice-President of the college. Our photograph of Fr Whiteside was taken at All Hallows in 1992 when the college marked its 150th anniversary. Fr Bob loved All Hallows and in return he was held in great affection by students and colleagues alike. It was fitting that in 2019 he celebrated the golden jubilee of his priesthood at the college.

In retirement Fr Whiteside lived in the Drumcondra area of Dublin but in recent times he had suffered from ill-health, and he died on the evening of 24 December 2022 at Our Lady`s Manor Nursing Home in Dalkey, where for several months past he had been cared for in his final illness by the Carmelite Sisters and their staff. From 2014 onwards he suffered from a series of serious illnesses, which he bore with great dignity and patience.

Fr Whiteside’s body was received into the chapel at All Hallows on Thursday 29 December where a large congregation were present for the celebration of a Requiem Mass. The following day Fr Bob’s coffin was transferred to St Mary’s Church, Tamnaherin, Derry for the Funeral Mass, prior to interment in the local cemetery.

A video recording of the Mass at All Hallows can be viewed by following this link:

The Diocese of Leeds was represented at the obsequies for Fr Whiteside by Fr Pat Wall of St Theresa’s Church, Leeds and Canon Sean Gilligan, who was a contemporary of Fr Bob’s at All Hallows in the 1960s.

Fr. Whiteside will be sadly missed by his All Hallows Alumni, by priests and people in the Diocese of Leeds and by his very his large circle of friends. He was a talented guitarist and singer and well known for his sense of humour. But above all, he will be remembered as a people’s priest, compassionate and generous, whose life and ministry can be seen as a living out of the Beatitudes proclaimed in the Sermon on the Mount.

May he rest in peace.