|Michael Joseph Walsh 1913 – 1985|
|1913 Born Kirkintilloch 1 September
1933 – 1939 Scots College Rome: Gregorian University
1938 17 December ordained priest for Glasgow
by Luigi Traglia
1939 – 1941 Coatdyke: All Saints
1941 – 1944 Glasgow: St Michael’s Parkhead
1944 – 1947 Forces Chaplain
1947 – 1948 Glasgow: St Luke’s
1948 – 1949 Glasgow: St Mark’s Carntyne
1949 – 1960 Aberdeen: St Mary’s College Blairs
1960 – 1970 Glasgow: St Kessog’s Balloch
1970 – 1975 Glasgow: St Laurence’s Drumchapel
1975 – 1985 Glasgow: Our Lady of Good Counsel Denniston
1985 Glasgow: Died 25 May aged 71
|Very Rev. Michael Joseph Canon Walsh, M.A.-2nd May, 1985
C D 1986 p387
|Michael Joseph Canon Walsh was brought up in a family which was a true nursery of the faith, as is evidenced by the fact that two of his sisters joined religious orders. He was born in Kirkintilloch on 1st September, 1913. His family moved to Saltcoats, where he was a pupil in St. Mary’s School until the return of the family to Kirkintilloch, where he entered St. Ninian’s Primary School and went on from there to St. Ninian’s Secondary School and then Glasgow University. He graduated from the University as Master of Arts. He had intended to enter the teaching profession but at this time he felt the call of God to serve him in the priesthood. Having applied to and been accepted by the Archdiocese of Glasgow as a student for the priesthood, he entered Scots College, Rome in October, 1933. He was ordained priest on 18th December, 1938 in St. John Lateran’s. After completing his studies in Rome he was appointed to All Saints, Coatdyke in August, 1939. From there he moved to St. Michael’s, Parkhead, where he served for three and a half years until he volunteered as a chaplain to H. M. Forces. With the Army he continued his work for souls, showing his cheerful devotion to duty especially in the difficult conditions in Burma until 1947 when he returned to the Archdiocese. He was appointed to St. Luke’s and in the following year to St. Mark’s and in the next year to St. Mary’s College, Blairs, where he was to assist in the training of young Scottish students for the priesthood.
Here in Blairs he spent a fruitful eleven years. Many priests in Scotland have good reason to. remember with great respect and affection the sterling and unassuming work he did there as a form master and in the class-room.
In 1960 he was appointed as assistant to St. Teresa’s, Possilpark. After a few weeks there he was given his first charge as parish priest—in St. Kessog’s, Balloch. He served there for ten years, during which time he was responsible for setting up one of the first Parish Councils in the Archdiocese. Then followed five years in charge of St. Laurence’s, Drumchapel, and the last ten years of his life in charge of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Dennistoun.
He was installed as a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter at Easter, 1983.
A patient and wise counsellor, tireless in his care of souls, meticulous in his care for the liturgy, it could be said that his chief abiding interest was in Catholic education. This was acknowledged by his superiors in his appointment to Blairs College and his appointment as Assistant Inspector for religion in schools in the Archdiocese (1969). Further to this, he did a remarkable thing in 1970. While parish priest in St. Laurence’s he entered Notre Dame College of Education as a very mature student and qualified as a registered teacher for secondary schools. He exercised this function for some time in St. Pius’ School. Indeed he acquired a wealth of experience during his forty-five years in the priesthood—in the various parishes, in the Army and in the field of education.
In the course of the summary of his appointments the expressions have been used—”cheerful devotion to duty” “sterling and unassuming work”. These expressions give some indication of his modest, persevering and prayerful service given with great good will to God and to his neighbour.
In the last few months of his life his health deteriorated and he had to undergo an operation, which was successful in so far as the immediate cause for complaint was concerned. Still he felt that his system had received a severe shake and took some weeks to recuperate. However, on his return to take up duty in his parish he died the very next day, 2nd May, 1985. So there was a shock in the suddenness of his death, but his surviving brother and sisters, his parishioners and his many priest and lay friends were consoled by the thought that this good priest was surely prepared to give to his Saviour the account of a good and faithful servant.
After Requiem Mass in Our Lady of Good Counsel, with the participation of large numbers of priests and people he was laid to rest in St. Peter’s Cemetery, Dalbeth. May he rest in peace.
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