Reverend Robert F. Hawkins

Date of Passing:

December 15, 2022

Reverend Robert F. Hawkins, 74, Pastor Emeritus of St. Luke Parish, Barrington, died Thursday, December 15, 2022.

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, a son of the late Francis R. and Marion (McConnell) Hawkins, he attended Garden City Elementary School in Cranston.

In preparation for the priesthood, he studied at Our Lady of Providence Seminary in Warwick, and at the American College in Louvain, Belgium. He was ordained a priest on September 12, 1975 by Most Reverend Louis Gelineau.

Father Hawkins served as assistant pastor at Holy Trinity Parish, Central Falls (1975 – 81) and as administrator of the team ministry at Sacred Heart Parish, East Providence (1981 – 87). In 1987, he was named pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Parish, Waterloo, Belgium, and served there until 1992, when he was appointed Chaplain at the University of Rhode Island, Kingston.
In 1996, Father was appointed administrator of the team ministry at St. Kevin Parish, Warwick, and then pastor of St. Kevin Parish. In 2005, Father Hawkins became pastor of Saint Luke Parish, Barrington, and remained there until July 1, 2018 when he retired as pastor emeritus.
In addition to his parish work, Father served on the diocesan Grievance Board; as chairman of the Seminary Advisory Board (1985 -87); Continuing Education of the Clergy Fund Advisory Board (1994 – 2000); the diocesan Implementation Committee (1995); diocesan Director of Campus Ministry (1996); Council of Priests (1999 – 2002; 2003 – 06; 2006 – 09; 2019 – present); Priests Personnel Board (2003 – 05; 2006 – 09; 2013 – 16); College of Consultors (2000 – 05; 2006 – 11; 2019 – present); Our Lady Queen of the Clergy Advisory Board (2012 – 14). Father completed sabbatical studies at the Washington Theological Union, Washington, DC in 2005.

Father Hawkins had a knack for remembering names. He said his parish family is ever evolving, from baptisms, sacraments of communion and confirmation, weddings and funerals — he got to know his parishioners and help celebrate their joys and sorrows. His immense love for his family and parishioners shone through in everything he did. He was honored and proud to lead St. Luke School, a blue ribbon parochial school, for many years.

Father Hawkins was a passionate New England sports fan, a great cook and lover of classical music. For most of his life he was an avid runner and later in life he enjoyed long walks on the beach at Cape Cod and hikes in the White Mountains with family. One of his greatest pleasures was to go to Cape Cod and New Hampshire to visit his family. His friends and family meant the world to him.

In retirement, Father Hawkins resided in Bristol, and assisted regularly at St. Mary of the Bay Parish, Warren.

He is survived by a sister, Mary Ellen (James) Brady of Jefferson, NH; a brother, Stephen M. (Kim) Hawkins of Indian Rocks, FL; five nieces and nephews, Sarah Brady Clark, Ellen Hoverman, Kerry Beth Brady, Stephen M. Hawkins Jr. and Corey A. Hawkins and six great nieces and two great nephews. He was the brother of the late Charles M. Hawkins.

Calling hours will be on Tuesday, December 20, 2022 from 3 – 7pm, at St. Luke Church, 108 Washington Road, Barrington, followed by a Mass for Vocations at 7pm.

A Concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be offered for the repose of his soul on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 at 10am, at St. Luke Church, Barrington. Burial will follow in Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Providence.

Contributions in Reverend Hawkins memory to St. Luke’s School, 10 Waldron Avenue, Barrington, RI 02806 would be deeply appreciated.

Online Condolences


  1. We were so saddened to hear of Fathers passing. Some people are gifted with the ability to read others . Father Bob was one of these . He not only remembered your name but could sense if you needed a listening ear . Wether to share good news or express some sadness which , with his counsel you would soon see things in the light of Christ. Thank you Father Bob for always making myself Steve, Joshua and Danielle feel part of the St Kevin’s family family of faith and school community. You have touched our hearts . RIP enjoy your first Christmas in Heaven. 🙏❤️

  2. Dear Mary Ellen,Stephen & Family,

    We were so very sorry to hear of the passing of Father Bob.
    Jackie and I very much missed our times with Bob in Rhode Island .
    We will always treasure our great conversations over dinners and a cocktail or two!
    He will truly be missed. Rest In Peace Bob!

  3. Father Bob had so many outstanding qualities, yet one that comes to mind was his drive to build relationships with his community. He stepped off the pulpit when he gave his homily. He showed up to basketball games and cross country meets. He was present at the end of masses that he did not preside over, because greeting each constituent as they exited the church was important. He was a true example of someone who left things better than he found them. We were all blessed to know and learn from him. He will be dearly missed.

  4. Mary Lu and I offer our condolences to the Hawkins/McConnell family and the parishioners of all the Parishes he served in. We thank God for his gift of Bob’s company and pray filled life. The wonderful services he performed at baptisms, funerals and weddings will always be with us. Of course we remember the family meals at our various homes as well as at the rectories he lived at from Central Falls to URI,St Lukes and Block Island. A great cook, sports fan and a politically in tune man, he was in a lot of ways a man for all seasons. Passionate conversations with his family and many priest and religious friends will always be remembered. He lived his faith. Our entire family mourns his loss and will terribly miss him.
    God Bless Father Bob.
    Bob and Lu

  5. I am sorry to read of this. Fr. Bob showed great compassion and care overseeing the funeral mass for my grandmother many years ago and I have always remembered that. He was such a positive representation of the church and provided helpful guidance at a challenging time.

  6. Father Bob Married us back in 1976 at Holy Trinity Church in Central Falls. He was a great priest. God Bless you Father Bob!

  7. Such a great man, not a selfish bone in his body. 1996-2005 was an idyllic time at St Kevins. Raising a family in church and school there, my girls had the very best the Church has to offer. RIP

  8. I was shocked to hear of Fr. Bob’s passing. He brought me communion at home, as he has done faithfully for the past 6 years since mobility deteriorated. We would reminisce about St. Luke, mutual friends, sports, and other activities. He made my day with his visits! I am eternally grateful for his compassion and friendship over the years. R.I.P. Fr. Bob, and my condolences to his family and many friends.

  9. We have known Fr.Hawkins since he came to St.Luke’s! Our family were blessed when he celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary!! The whole Oh family loved him! The kids n grandkids loved to share dinners n conversations with him! He will be missed! We loved you n will miss you for years to come!!

  10. So very sad to learn of your loss. We at Christ the King loved Fr. Bob. He was such an inspiration.

  11. It is with a very sadden heart I hear of Father Bob’s passing. I meet Father Bob in 1985 when my son with dying. Father Bob was my light in this darkest time. I will never forget Father Bob. Rest now in peace.

  12. Father Bob was a Blessing to Holy Trinity in Central Falls, loved by everyone that knew him. May you rest in peace Father Bob. The Casto Family, Donna, Jim, Jimmy Jr., and Scott

  13. We were deeply saddened to hear of Fr.Bob’s passing. He embodied Christ’s teaching in his ministry and was so skilled at making the Scripture relevant to daily life. He comforted us, celebrated with us through so many of life’s milestones since 1975. Our deepest sympathy to his family and to the many other families like ours who had the good fortune to have had him in our lives as our priest and our friend. May he rest in peace.
    Micky and Mary

  14. I met Fr. Bob where he served as assistant Pastor of our Holy Trinity Parish Family. He officiated at my sister and her husband’s wedding there in 1981 and baptized their three children along the way. I met up with him years later when I sponsored my two grandsons at Confirmation at St. Luke’s Parish. He never forgot names! Fr. Bob was a kind and gentle soul and a wonderful priest who was loved by many. May his memory be eternal and May he now Rest In Peace as he is welcomed into Paradise by his Maker.

  15. This is such heartbreaking news. I just heard from Father last week. He was checking in to see how we were doing as he often did. He was responsible for helping to strengthen our connection to the church and remained a dedicated friend and priest despite distance and retirement. He will be so missed. Our deepest sympathy to his family and all who loved him. John and Heather Picerne

  16. We met Fr. Bob when he was the URI chaplain, and were privileged to serve with him on the RCIA team at Christ the King. Fr. Bob was a lovely man, and was also incredibly funny—sometimes even on purpose! We will miss you, Bob.

  17. I met Fr. Bob when he was at Sacred Heart in East Providence where my sons attended school. Then, we met up again when he was pastor of St. Luke’s. He was a humble and kind man and a wonderful priest. Now, Fr. Bob, rest in the arms of Jesus.

  18. We were shocked and saddened to learn of Father Bob’s passing. He was a wonderful and incredible priest and human being. We will miss him so dearly. May he rest in God’s loving embrace until we all meet again. Our prayers are with him and his entire family.

  19. Keith and I met up with you on Lum’s on Silver Spring Street to discuss our wedding dates and became fast friends for next forty-six years.
    Keep smiling!

  20. Father Bob was the nicest man especially to me during a painful time in my life. I am saddened by this news but know he will be fine in heaven.

  21. I think I was in second grade when I met Fr Bob at Holy Trinity School and I loved him. We all did. He was a such a wonderful man.

  22. Our family first met Fr Bob at Holy Trinity in Central Falls. It was love at first sight! I can’t begin to tell everyone how much he meant to our family. From baptisms to weddings to funerals he was always there for us. With some Patriots games and dinners thrown in for good measure. He will be sorely missed by us and many. God speed. Well done my faithful son. Love peace and prayers!

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