Paul Patrick Walsh, O.P.
Born: June 29, 1906
Professed: August 16, 1928
Ordained: June 14, 1934
Died: January 22, 2003
Paul Patrick Walsh, the son of Patrick and Mary Ann Ryan Walsh, was born in Brooklyn, NY, where he attended St. Charles Borromeo grammar school and Brooklyn College Prep High School.
After attending Fordham University from 1925-1927, he entered the Novitiate of St. Joseph Province on August 5, 1927 at St. Rose Priory, near Springfield, KY. Following the profession of vows one year later, he pursued philosophical and theological studies at the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, DC. He was ordained a priest June 14, 1943 at St. Dominic’s Church in Washington by Archbishop Michael J. Curley of Baltimore.
In 1935 Father Walsh was assigned to St. Peter’s Church in Memphis, TN, for parish duties and to teach religion at St. Agnes Academy and College. From 1938-1946 Father Walsh was assigned to St. Dominic’s in Washington, DC, and St. Vincent Ferrer in New York City, as a member of the Mission Preaching Band, preaching parish missions, Forty Hours Devotions and retreats all through the eastern United States. In 1946, he was assigned to Columbia, SC, as Director of the Preaching Band in the southeastern United States. Father Walsh was well-known for his Catholic Chapel on Wheels which he drove throughout the South and from which he instructed listeners about the faith.
Father Michael Brown, the Master of the Order, bestowed the distinguished title of Preacher General on Father Walsh in 1955 at St. Vincent Ferrer Church in New York City.
In 1955, a woman gave Father Walsh a 100-acre plantation at Kingstree, South Carolina. Father Walsh converted the buildings on the property and established the first closed Retreat House in the southeast. Thirty retreatants attended the weekend retreats and the priests of the Diocese of Charleston made their annual retreat there.
In 1968 Father Walsh was assigned to St. Vincent Ferrer Church, New York City, for parochial and hospital ministry.
The Catholic Bishops of the United States in 1974 issued a Pastoral Letter, “Behold Thy Mother”, advocating devotion to the Rosary. Following his assignment to Holy Name of Jesus Church, Valhalla, NY, Fr. Walsh began full time preaching on the Rosary and on love and devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Each year he preached to over 85,000 people and gave away 15,000 rosaries.
In March 1992, the Province of St. Joseph awarded Father Walsh the Dominican Preaching Medal for his 50 years of preaching.
Father Walsh retired to the Center for Assisted Living at St. Dominic Priory in Washington, DC, in 1998 where he celebrated his 68 years of priesthood. At the beginning of the year, January 22, 2003, after a short illness, Father Walsh died peacefully at Carroll Manor in Washington, DC.
Fr. James Muller, O.P., was the celebrant at the Mass of Christian Burial at St. Dominic Church. Fr. John McMahon, O.P., was the homilist. Fr. Walsh was laid to rest in the Dominican Friars’ section at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Washington, DC.