Robert A. Walsh, O.S.A.

Robert Walsh.jpg

1938 – 1991 (March 10)

Robert Augustine Walsh was born on September 20, 1938, in Lawrence Massachusetts, one of two sons and three daughters of Robert A. Walsh and Anna Hanlon. Robert was baptized on October 16, 1938 in the Church of Saint Laurence O’Toole, Lawrence. Later the family eventually moved to Andover, MA, where Robert attended the parish grammar school. Upon graduation in 1952, he enrolled in Saint John’s Preparatory School, Danvers, MA, and graduated in 1956. After one year at Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, he transferred to Merrimack College, North Andover, MA. He graduated in 1961 with an B.A. degree in the humanities. In August of that same year Robert requested admission to the Order, and entered Our Mother of Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, New York, where he professed simple vows on September 10, 1962. Three years later he professed solemn vows, on September 10, 1965, at Augustinian College, Washington, DC. On November 19, 1966, Robert was ordained to the priesthood in the chapel of Christ the Teacher on the campus of Merrimack College. The following year, 1967, he completed his theological studies and received an M.A. from Augustinian College, Washington, DC. 

Father Walsh’s priesthood was spent serving the Province’s educational institutions. From 1967 to 1968 he was an instructor in math and assistant chaplain at Archbishop Carroll High School, Washington, D.C., and from 1968 to 1969 an instructor and chaplain at Austin Preparatory, Reading, MA. In 1969 he was sent to the newly constructed Saint Mary’s Hall, the collegiate seminary on the campus of Villanova University. While stationed there he held a variety of positions: director of the pre-novitiate program, regent of studies, treasurer of the community, and part-time theology instructor at the university. In 1971 he was transferred to Biscayne College in Miami, Florida, where he taught theology and was Director of Guidance and Testing. In 1972 Father Walsh returned to Austin Preparatory in Reading, MA as an instructor. In 1975 he was appointed headmaster, and served in that capacity until 1979. From 1979 to 1981, he was assigned to his alma mater, Merrimack College, where he held a variety of administrative positions. While still working at Merrimack he was assigned to Saint Mary’s Parish, Lawrence, where, in 1983, he was appointed prior of the community. He undertook a course of studies at the Andover-Newton Theological School, and, in 1985, was granted a Doctor of Ministry degree. 

At the time of his death at 53 years of age, on March 10, 1991, he was prior of Saint Mary’s in Lawrence and dean of freshmen at Merrimack College. Father Walsh was a kind and gentle person with a sharp sense of humor, and a deep concern for the students with whom he was so successful.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at the Merrimack College Chapel of Christ the Teacher on March 13, by Prior Provincial, John Hagen, O.S.A.. Homilist was his classmate from college days, Father George Morgan, O.S.A. Father Walsh is buried in the Augustinian plot of Saint Mary’s Cemetery, Lawrence, MA.