Biographies

Father Michael W. Walsh, MM

Born: October 21, 1906
Ordained: June 11, 1933
Died: September 20, 1987

Father Michael William Walsh died on September 20, 1987, in the United Hospital, Port Chester, N.Y. He was 81 years of age.

Michael was born in South Boston on October 21, 1906, son of Dudley and Mary C. Walsh. There were 3 girls and 4 boys in the family. When he was 7 years old his mother died and there after their aunt raised the family. A younger brother, Martin, became a diocesan priest and served for 33 years in Alexandria, Louisiana.

Michael wrote that in SS. Peter & Paul Parochial School he had always the priesthood set as his goal and that he attributed his interest in the foreign missions and Maryknoll to his faithful reading of The Field Afar magazine as it came into their home each month. After graduating from South Boston High in 1923, he applied to Maryknoll and entered the Venard in September, 1924. He was ordained on June 11, 1933. His first overseas assignment in 1933 was to Peng Yang, Korea. There he served for five years.  He studied the language well and acquired satisfactory fluency in it. He was pastor of the Shukusen Mission for about 2 years. His confreres considered him a good priest and a loyal Maryknoller. At a meeting of priests they were talking about what jobs they liked. Father Walsh simply said: “All I would like to be is a good priest.”

With the advice and consent of Bishop J. E. Walsh, then Superior General, Fr. Walsh left Korea in 1938 and returned to the Knoll. The rest of his priesthood was spent in administration, office and development work in the United States. He was appointed Assistant Procurator in charge of manual labor at the Center. He served as Director of the Brothers in Rosary House in 1947 for a short time and then worked in the Treasury Department until 1960. Many remember him as head of the Mass Desk at Maryknoll for many years. For the next nine years he did promotion work in Houston, Detroit, Cleveland and Buffalo. Directors of the houses spoke well of how he enjoyed getting out to visit priests with the purpose of getting church dates. One wrote that priests like him very much and he has been eminently successful in getting church dates.

For health reasons Father Walsh asked for an assignment to Los Altos in July, 1969 and later he was enrolled in the Special Society Unit in 1977. In June of 1983, due to further declining health, he came to St. Teresa Residence, where he spent his last years.

Wake services were conducted at St. Teresa’s and at the Center on Sept. 22 by Fr. Richard J. Callahan. The Biography letter was read by Seminarian Kevin Thomas. Mass of Christian Burial was offered on the following day with Fr. Robert J. Lloyd as principal celebrant. Fr. John J. Corcoran gave the Homily. The graveside service was conducted by Fr. George N. Gilligan.