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Robert W. Bullock papers

Collection MS-2006-024: Robert W. Bullock papers


  • Creation: 1940-2006

Scope and Contents

The papers primarily document the religious work of Robert W. Bullock, a twentieth-century Catholic priest in the Boston area. The collection includes a significant body of sermons and talks, correspondence, ministry meeting information, photographs, a scrapbook, awards, and artifacts and ephemera. Many of Bullock's talks focused on spirituality, the relationship between the Vatican and the American church, Jewish-Christian relations, issues of anti-Semitism, and the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church. Additional materials relate to Bullock's activities with the non-profit organization Facing History and Ourselves.


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research.

Materials from Series VII. Sermons and talks, including Subseries D. Sermons and Subseries E. Talking Religion radio shows, were received digitally. This content has been migrated from source media; digital use copies can only be accessed onsite in the Burns Library Reading Room.

Restrictions on use

These materials are made available for use in research, teaching and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright Law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source. The original authors may retain copyright to the materials.

Biographical Note

Robert W. Bullock was born in Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1929. He attended St. Sebastian's Country Day School. In 1951 he earned a degree in economics from Boston College. He entered St. John's Seminary and was ordained a priest in 1956. Between 1956 and 1966, Bullock served at numerous parishes in Massachusetts, including St. Camillus in Arlington. He joined the Boston Archdiocese's campus ministry in 1964 and was appointed its first director of campus ministry in 1966. In addition, Bullock served as Catholic chaplain at Brandeis University from 1969 to 1978. After working in campus ministry, Bullock was assigned to Our Lady of Sorrows Parish in Sharon, Massachusetts. He served at Our Lady of Sorrows from 1978 to 2004.

Bullock's interest in interfaith relations, particularly Jewish-Christian relations, surfaced and developed while he served as the Catholic chaplain at Brandeis University. He read extensively on the Holocaust. In 1976, he began collaborating with Facing History and Ourselves, an organization that focuses on helping teachers and students engage with issues of racism, prejudice, and anti-Semitism. During his thirty year relationship with Facing History and Ourselves Bullock traveled around the country talking with students and teachers about the past and its implications for the present. Bullock traveled to Israel, Germany, and Poland in 1973 where he studied Jewish-Christian relations within campus ministry. He led several interfaith trips to Israel from 1973 to 1980.

In addition, Bullock was engaged in a variety of other religious organizations. From 1964 to 1974, Bullock served as a member of the Archdiocesan Ecumenical Commission. Bullock also regularly participated on the WBZ Sunday morning broadcast of "Intersect." Bullock became a vocal critic of the Church's handling of the sexual abuse crisis in the Boston Archdiocese. He signed a letter along with other priests calling for the resignation of Boston Cardinal Bernard Law and founded a support and network group for Boston priests, the Priests' Forum.

Diagnosed with liver cancer in the spring of 2004, Bullock died at home on June 19, 2004 at the age of 75.


Rourke, Mary. "Robert Bullock, 75; Priest, Critic of Church’s Role in Sex Scandal." Los Angeles Times, June 23, 2004. Accessed on December 17, 2020,


12 Linear Feet (22 containers)

40 Gigabytes (396 files with approximately 67 hours of audio plus digital documents)

Language of Materials



Papers document the religious career of twentieth-century Boston Catholic priest Robert W. Bullock. Materials include correspondence, sermons and talks, photographs, ministry documents, awards, artifacts and ephemera, and a scrapbook. It also contains material relating to Bullock's work with the non-profit organization Facing History and Ourselves.


Arranged in seven series: I. Artifacts and ephemera, II. Awards, III. Correspondence, IV. Director of Campus Ministry meetings, V. Facing History and Ourselves, VI. Photographs, and VII. Sermons and talks.

Other Finding Aids

More detailed description for the digital content in this collection is available in the form of a directory tree with a file listing. Please request these materials from Burns Library Public Services.


Gift of the Bullock Estate and Padriac O'Hare of Facing History and Ourselves, in 2006.


Robert W. Bullock Papers
Sarah K. Nytroe, November-December 2006; minor updates 2009; Rachael Young
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the John J. Burns Library Repository

John J. Burns Library
Boston College
140 Commonwealth Avenue
Chestnut Hill MA 02467 United States