Father Robert M. Wendelken was pastor emeritus, St. Rita Parish, Solon
Bishop Roger Gries will be the main celebrant at the funeral Mass for Father Robert M. Wendelken at 11 a.m. Sept. 21 at St. Rita Church, 32820 Baldwin Road, Solon. Homilist will be Father Lawrence Jurcak.
The wake will begin with vespers at 3 p.m. Sept. 20 at St. Rita Church. Bishop Richard Lennon will preside and Father Stanley Klasinski will be homilist. The wake will continue until 7 p.m., with additional visitation 9:30-10:45 a.m. Sept., 21, prior to the funeral Mass.
Father Wendelken died on Sept. 14, the day after his 82nd birthday. The son of the late Robert M. and Margaret Jane (Hamilin), he was educated at Rankin Elementary School, St. Sebastian School and St. Vincent High School, all in Akron. He attended St. Gregory Minor Seminary in Cincinnati; Borromeo Seminary, Wickliffe; and St. Mary Seminary, Cleveland. Bishop Floyd Begin ordained him to the priesthood for service in the Diocese of Cleveland on May 20, 1961 in the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist.
Father Wendelken’s first assignment was as parochial vicar of St. Francis de Sales, Parma. During that assignment, he was CCD director for the Cleveland Southwest Deanery, effective Aug. 21, 1964. He was transferred on June 9, 1966 to St. Clare, Lyndhurst, to serve as parochial vicar. In addition, he was priest-director of the St. Martin de Porres Information and Service Center, effective Sept. 17, 1969. He was appointed to the Diocesan Tribunal Office as auxiliary notary and procurator-advocate effective Sept. 1, 1970. Father Wendelken was assigned as parochial vicar, St. Aloysius Parish, on Aug. 17, 1971. In addition, he served as a member of the Glenville Team Ministry. He was assigned parochial vicar of St. Timothy, Garfield Heights, on July 5, 1973. Father Wendelken was assigned as administrator pro tem of St. Timothy Parish on Jan. 6, 1975. He also was assigned as a part-time staff member, associate defender of the bond and procurator-advocate for the tribunal office.
On Sept. 15. 1975, Father Wendelken was named pastor of St. Timothy Parish. He was assigned chaplain for the Vincentian sisters and defender of the bond for the tribunal office on July 1, 1977. On June 18, 1979, he was appointed delegate of the ordinary for administrative cases for the tribunal and on March 2, 1981, he was assigned vice officialis for the tribunal.
Father Wendelken was named pastor of St. Rita Parish in Solon on March 22, 1982. During this assignment, he also served as chaplain for the Knights of Columbus Council No. 1765, effective June 5, 1996. He retired on June 30, 2005, and was named pastor emeritus of St. Rita. Father Wendelken continued to be involved in the ministry of the tribunal through a majority of his years in the priesthood, especially during his senior years.
Interment will be at Holy Cross Cemetery, Akron.