New York, N.Y. - It is with great sadness that we report the death of our dear friend and a valued partner of America Media, the Rev. Robert Beloin, chaplain of Saint Thomas More: The Catholic Chapel & Center at Yale University.
Over the last five years, ‘Father Bob’, as he was affectionately called by all who knew him, helped to spearhead The George W. Hunt, S.J., Prize for Journalism, Arts & Letters, a prize jointly awarded by St. Thomas More and America Media. The fourth Hunt Prize was awarded on Thursday evening at Saint Thomas More in New Haven, Ct.
The Hunt Prize, however, is just a small part of Father Bob’s expansive legacy. In 24 years of service to the Saint Thomas More community, he developed a program and staff that transformed the chaplaincy into a nationally renown program of worship, service and intellectual engagement. Father Bob was a true pastor and a visionary—bringing individuals together to love, to serve, to be lights of the Gospel.
Father Bob was a true pastor and a visionary—bringing individuals together to love, to serve, to be lights of the Gospel.
Father Bob’s warmth, compassion and commitment to social justice (he was recently arrested in New Haven accompanying undocumented people to court) were known to all he met. And his hospitality was unrivaled. As a friend recently reminded me, when you went to see Father Bob for a chat or a meal, “the plates were always hot, the wine was always decanted and there were always fresh flowers at his table.” He was to all his guests as Abraham was to the angels in disguise.
We will deeply miss him. We pray for his friends and the Yale community who mourn him. At a time when the church and the world are looking for models of good priests and decent men, no one needs to look further than Father Bob Beloin.
Requiescat in pace.
About Fr. Robert Beloin
Father Bob was a native of Connecticut. He completed his bachelor of arts and master of divinity at Our Lady of Angels Seminary in Albany, N.Y. He received his Ph.D. in religious studies, magna cum laude, from the University of Louvain in Belgium in 1983.
Father Bob’s warmth, compassion and commitment to social justice were known to all he met.
Following his ordination in 1973, Father Bob served first as assistant pastor for St. Ann Church in New Britain, Cy. He was the director of pastoral formation at the American College in Louvain from 1978 to 1983, and then spent 10 years as co-pastor for St. Barnabas Church in North Haven. In 1994, he became the seventh chaplain at Saint Thomas More.
During his tenure, Father Bob was active in both local and national organizations. In 1991 he became a member of the Advisory Board of the National Alliance of Parishes Restructuring into Communities, a Catholic organization supporting parish renewal.
Father Bob was also a retreat director for the Ministry to Priests Program for nine years and served on many committees for the Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven and on various archdiocesan committees, including the presbyteral council and the personnel board.
Father Bob particularly enjoyed classical music, Broadway plays, white water rafting, bungee jumping, zymurgy and tailgate parties for Yale football games.