Father William R. Jenkinson
Pastor of St. Luke's Church from 1991 to 2005
Born 1932, Died 2005
Father William R. Jenkinson 73, Pastor of St. Luke Church, Washington
Road, died Saturday, May 28, 2005 at St. Antoine's Home, North Smithfield.
Born in Warren, a son of the late John J. and Lillian (Vitullo) Jenkinson,
he lived in Barrington since 1991, previously residing in Woonsocket.
Reverend Jenkinson began his education at St. Jean Baptiste School in
Warren and was a graduate of LaSalle Academy Class of 1949. He studied the
priesthood at Our Lady of Providence, Warwick Neck and completed his two
years of philosophy at the Seminary of Philosophy in Montreal, Canada. He
studied Theology and was a graduate of the American College University of
Louvain, Belgium Class of 1956.
On June 30, 1957, on the 100th anniversary of the American College in
Louvain, Father Jenkinson was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop
Henry J. O'Brien.
When Father Jenkinson returned to the states his first assignment was at
St. Joseph's Church, in Newport. In 1961, after furthering his education
at Louvain, he received a doctorate in Sacred Theology and then returned
to St. Joseph's. After a two year stay in Newport, Father Jenkinson spent
the next ten years teaching in different parts of the United States. He
taught at St. John's Seminary, Little Rock, Arkansas for three years. He
then went on to teach at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
for 6 years. His next assignment was at St. Mary's Seminary and University
in Baltimore where he was Academic Dean until he was called back to Rhode
In 1979-81 he was named assistant pastor at St. Louis Parish in
Woonsocket, and in 1981, he was appointed pastor of Our Lady of Queen of
Martyrs, Woonsocket where he remained for ten years.
Father Jenkinson came to St. Luke's Parish in June of 1991. With family
relatives in Warren, he referred to St. Luke's as the Parish 'family away
from home'. At St. Luke's he helped Parishioners find spiritual values in
a secular world by continuing retreats and missions and sustaining the
good quality of education that St. Luke's school offered. He had many
visions for the future of St Luke's Church including the expansion and
renovation to make the church more accommodating for the handicap and
In addition to his parish duties, Father Jenkinson served as a member of
the Board of Governors of The Catholic Foundation of Rhode Island.
Father Jenkinson enjoyed tennis and playing the piano. He has played
classical and modern pieces to delight the listener.
He leaves two nephews; Theodore A. Whiting, Jr. of Bartow, Florida and
David Whiting of Manchester, NH, two nieces; Cynthia Whiting of El Cireto,
Calf., and Lindsay Whiting of Sonoma, Calf. He was the brother of the late
Irene C. Whiting.
The solemn transferal of his body was Wednesday, June 1, 2005, from the W.
Raymond Watson Funeral Home to St. Luke Church, Washington Road at 5 p.m.
A Mass for Priestly Vocations was celebrated at 7 p.m. A concelebrated
Mass of Christian Burial was offered for the repose of his soul on
Thursday at 10 a.m. in St. Luke Church. Burial took place in St. Jean
Baptiste Cemetery, Warren. Contributions in Father Jenkinson's memory to
St. Luke's Church would be deeply appreciated.