With selfish and personal sadness, I read the announcement of the retirement of Auxiliary Bishop Gerald Walsh in your Sept. 13 issue. But I rejoiced that Cardinal Dolan has reappointed Bishop Walsh as vicar for clergy for one year. What better priest as vicar than Bishop Walsh who goes about quietly doing God’s work, in the footsteps of St. John Vianney, the patron saint of priests.
Bishop Walsh does everything quietly, without fanfare, never flaunting his title or seeking recognition for himself.
When I was president of the Ladies of Charity of the Archdiocese of New York, Bishop Walsh’s door was always open for counsel and advice. Believe it or not, I dealt with a number of matters of faith through which he or Father Richard Welch, C.Ss.R., the judicial vicar, would guide me—seeking the Truth, always.
Bishop Walsh greeted everyone with a smile in the Catholic Center’s elevators and ate his lunch in the cafeteria lunchroom…again, always accessible.
When Bishop Walsh was rector at St. Joseph’s Seminary, I was privileged to hear him speak. His words remain one of the finest homilies I’ve ever heard. He speaks with conviction combined with an innate goodness and kindness.
Catholic New York’s interview with Bishop Walsh was so relevant in that, through the bishop’s own words, they captured the priest he is.
Bishop Walsh was quoted as saying: “Hang out in front of the Church and get to know the people. Hang out in front of the school, get to know the kids. Walk the streets. Go to the hospital.” Bishop Walsh lives the words of Pope Francis when the Pope said: “This is what I am asking of you...Be shepherds with the smell of sheep…go out to meet the people, especially the lost sheep.”
I wholeheartedly agree with Cardinal Dolan’s remarks as reported in CNY: “Bishop Walsh is one of the finest priests I have ever met, whose sole focus has been, and continues to be, serving Jesus and His Church.”
Nancy C. Waters