Bishop Walsh uses incense during a Mass at St. Anne Church, Garden City, in 2011.

Bishop Walsh uses incense during Mass at St. Anne’s, Garden City, in 2011.

 

Retired Bishop Paul H. Walsh, who served as an auxiliary bishop of the Rockville Centre diocese from 2003 until his retirement in 2012, died on Saturday, October 18. He was 77 years old.

Born in Brooklyn, Bishop Walsh’s family moved to Long Island when he was in elementary school and he attended

Bishop Walsh blesses jubilarians during a Mass for couples married 50 years or more at Christ the King Church, Commack, in 2009.

Bishop Walsh blesses jubilarians during a Mass for couples married 50 years or more at Christ the King Church, Commack, in 2009.

St. Barnabas School in Bellmore and Seton Hall High School in Patchogue. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Providence College in Rhode Island and studied for the priesthood at the Dominican House of Studies in Dover, Mass., and the Dominican House of Studies in Washington, receiving master’s degrees in philosophy and theology. He was ordained a Dominican priest on June 9, 1966.

He returned to Long Island in 1983, serving as an associate pastor at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church in Centerport and was incardinated as a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre the following year.

Upon his retirement in August, 2012, Bishop Walsh sent a letter to the priests of the diocese expressing his gratitude for the support and friendship extended to him over the years.

“I came to the Diocese of Rockville Centre because it was the same diocese of my family. I am grateful for the friendship of the clergy and the people who have prayed for me and with me and supported me in so many ways,” he wrote. “Although I was very happy to be a Dominican priest, there was always something in my heart reminding me that serving the people and being with the people as a parish priest was always attractive to me.”

Bishop Walsh blesses inmates during a Mass at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Riverhead in 2006.

Bishop Walsh blesses inmates during a Mass at the Suffolk County Correctional Facility in Riverhead in 2006. All photos by Gregory A. Shemitz.

Following his assignment at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Bishop Walsh served as associate pastor at St. Patrick’s, Smithtown, for two years, before being named pastor there in 1990.

He was ordained a bishop on Ascension Thursday, May 29, 2003 at St. Agnes Cathedral and became vicar of the Western Vicariate of the diocese and pastor of Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Church in Roosevelt. He continued as pastor until 2009.

In 2012, in a statement on Bishop Walsh’s retirement, Bishop William Murphy thanked Bishop Walsh for his dedicated service.

“When I came to the Diocese of Rockville Centre in 2001, I quickly came to know him (Bishop Walsh) and soon realized how true is what all the people of his parish told me: he simply is one of the finest, gentlest and most caring priests they — and I — have ever known,” Bishop Murphy wrote. “Small wonder that, when I asked for a new auxiliary bishop for our diocese in 2003, Blessed John Paul II chose Father Paul Walsh, who accepted this role with characteristic humility, but with the same generous spirit that all of us know to be his hallmark.”

Bishop Murphy described Bishop Walsh as “a true pastor, a wise father and a kind and gentle shepherd to one and all.”

Funeral details:

Wake:
Tuesday, October 21, 7-9 pm
Church of St. Patrick
280 East Main Street
Smithtown, NY 11787

Wednesday, October 22,  2-4 pm
Church of St. Patrick (as above)

Mass of Transferral:
Wednesday, October 22,  7:30 pm
Church of St. Patrick
280 East Main Street
Smithtown, NY 11787

Funeral Mass:
Thursday, October 23, 11 am
Cathedral of St. Agnes
29 Quealy Place
Rockville Centre, NY 11570

Cemetery:
St. Patrick Cemetery
Smithtown, NY

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