School History

Father James Whelihan

Father James Whelihan was born on April 6th, 1902 in Lucan, Ontario. After being awarded a B.A. with honors from the University of Western Ontario, he entered the novitiate of the Basilian Fathers - a Catholic Community of priests dedicated to the education of youth. Father Whelihan became a priest on December 21st, 1930.

After some teaching assignments in Ontario and Texas, Father Whelihan was assigned to teach at St. Mary's High School in Calgary in 1933. During this time, Father Whelihan served as a teacher, vice-principal, athletic director and coach. He also served as an advisor on the city planning commission, became the director for athletics for Calgary Catholic Schools and became a member of the athletic board for the City of Calgary. Father Whelihan was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame (1985) and also received the Order of Canada (1985). Father Whelihan passed away at St. Michael's hospital in Toronto on November 15th, 1986.

Father Whelihan was loved by all of those that knew him. His fun loving nature and compassionate personality are remembered by the many students that had the privilege of learning from, and with Father Whelihan. He was an extraordinary man who believed that we should strive to be "The Best That We Can Be". His dedication to teaching students the importance of always doing your best is the philosophy that is still alive and well in the school that was named in his honor. Father James Whelihan School opened in September of 1986 in the community of Sundance in Calgary, Alberta. The students, teachers, staff and parents at Father Whelihan School affirm that we have mutual rights and responsibilities towards each other. These are based on our Catholic faith, the need for trust in a safe and healthy learning environment. We celebrate Father Whelihan's teachings each year.


TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF; You are made in the image and likeness of God.

TAKE CARE OF OTHERS; They have dignity and work as a child of God.

TAKE CARE OF THIS PLACE; God has made us caretakers of our world.