Retired priest continues ministry


PROVIDENCE - On Feb. 24-25, Catholics will be asked to support the Priests' Retirement Fund. This fund provides for the basic needs of our senior priests, including for Father Clyde J. Walsh, who, although retired from active administration, is still actively working priestly ministry.

Father Walsh says he is grateful that he now has more time to be "more available to people who really need help." Since his retirement in 1995, the Pawtucket native has been doing just that and more.

After 44 years in active ministry, Father Walsh ministers at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston and serves as a board member for the Fruit Hill Day Center for the Elderly in North Providence and for the Whitmarsh House for youths at risk in Providence. At age 81, he continues to serve on the Bishop's Advisory Board for Major Seminarians and as an active member of Jeanne Jugan Residence in Pawtucket.

"Visiting and caring for the sick is so rewarding, I would recommend to younger priests that they be of service and available to those (in these circumstances) who need them," Father Walsh said. "They too would find it just as rewarding."

After serving in the Navy during World War II, he graduated from Brown University and St. John Seminary. Ordained in 1951, he spent eight years as assistant pastor for what he now calls his "first love," St. Mary Parish in Bristol. He was named superior and novice master of the Society of Brothers of Our Lady of Providence, a position which he held for nine years He later served as assistant pastor of St. Mary's, Providence, and as pastor of Mary, Mother of Mankind Parish, North Providence, and St. Matthew Parish, Cranston.

Father Walsh has worked in inner-city ministry at St. Anthony's and St. Patrick's in Providence, as special minister of the Urban Apostolate at Hartford Park, Providence, and as director of the diocesan Human Relations Commission.

(This article originally appeared in The Providence Visitor)