Pierre Whalon was born on 12 November 1952 in Newport, Rhode Island. He received the Baccalauréat philosophie, in Caen, France in 1972 and took a Bachelor of Music degree from Boston University in 1974. He was awarded the Diplôme supérieur, Harmonie et Contrepoint, from the Schola Cantorum in Paris, France in 1977, followed by a Master of Sacred Music from Duquesne University in 1981. He is a graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary, earning the Master of Divinity degree, cum laude, in 1985.
Bishop Whalon was ordained Deacon in June 1985 and Priest in December 1985. From 1985 to 1991, he was Rector of All Souls, in North Versailles, Pennsylvania. He then served as rector of St Paul’s, Elkins Park, Pennsylvania, from 1991 to 1993. His last parish position was serving as rector of St Andrew’s Church and School in Fort Pierce, Florida. He was elected Bishop of the Convocation of American Churches in Europe in June 2001 (since renamed the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe) and consecrated in Rome, November 2001, at St Paul’s-within-the-Walls.
A columnist for Anglicans Online since 1999, he has also been a feature writer for Tribune 2000 (a Paris-based, liberal Roman Catholic magazine in French) and has published a number of articles and book reviews in both Anglican and secular publications.
Bishop Whalon is a member of the Christian-Muslim Summits and co-author and signatory of its foundational document, An Inter-Religious Call and Commitment to Action. He was a member of the commission that produced the Episcopal Church’s statement on interreligious relations in Toward Our Mutual Flourishing, commended by the 2009 General Convention. He is also a past member of the Anglican Communion Network for Interfaith Concerns.
He has a longtime interest in refugee issues, and in 2007, he co-founded The Association d'entraide aux minorités d'Orient (AEMO), a French-based non-profit organization that has been resettling people need in France ever since. Some 2500 people -- those at risk of death for reasons of their faith -- have been resettled with AEMO's help.
Bishop Whalon is also a member of Bishops United Against Gun Violence
Whalon is a dual national of the United States and France and is bilingual in English and French. He has studied German, Spanish, Russian, Latin, New Testament Greek, and is currently trying to learn Italian.
In what spare time he has, he enjoys playing the organ, fishing, writing, cooking, weightlifting, learning new languages, and the cinema.
In 1980 Bishop Whalon married Melinda Jane McCulloch. Their 37 years together ended with Melinda's unexpected death in February 2017. She was director of a Paris-based business, which she co-founded. She is also a musician. The Whalons have one daughter, Marie-Noëlle, a graduate of Cordon Bleu, who lives in Paris.