A Catholic Monthly Magazine

Fr John Vincent Walsh SM

11 December 1930 – 9 November 2021

John Walsh was born in Lismore on 11 December 1930 to Robert and Eileen Walsh (nee Plummer). He had two brothers and two sisters. Their father was a Postmaster and the family lived in Lismore at the time of John’s birth. John did all of his primary education (1935–43) at St Mary’s College, Grafton, and after one year of secondary education at St Mary’s Grafton, he went to St John’s College, Woodlawn (1945–48).

At the end of his formal education John began work in a bank. In 1950 he decided to try his vocation as a Marist, entering the novitiate in Armidale and was professed on 2 February 1951. He then moved to Toongabbie where he did his philosophy and theology studies. He was ordained on 4 January 1957. The group he was in that year included Frs Fred Limeburner, Reg Keating, Keith Shepherd and Ted Lynch.

In the Society of Mary in Australia, Fr John became known affectionately as ‘Javee.’ His first appointment was as clerk for the ‘Harvest’ magazine in 1958, while assistant pastor at Hunters Hill. Except for a short period as acting parish priest in Claremont (Tasmania) in 1964, his four years were followed by appointments until the end of 1969 at Burnie (Tasmania), Gladstone and Ashgrove (Queensland). In 1970 Fr John did a ‘second novitiate’ at Greenmeadows, New Zealand, and six months of teaching at St Paul’s College, Bellambi, NSW.

In 1971 Fr John was appointed to Deer Park (Melbourne) as priest in charge. This was followed by a sabbatical period in the first part of 1973. For the remainder of 1973 until early 1976 he was back again in Burnie, followed by two months at the University of San Francisco. 

During 1976-93, except for a short period in 1980 as priest in charge of Helensburgh (NSW), Fr John was on the parish team at St Patrick’s, Church Hill, Sydney. 1994 was a year doing parish supply work from Villa Maria at Hunters Hill. 

In 1997 he began work in St Agnes Parish, Port Macquarie, NSW, especially in the pastoral care of people in the large retirement and aged care complexes owned by the parish. 

Retiring from Port Macquarie, Fr John became a member of the Maryvale/Montbel community at Hunters Hill, before moving to Southern Cross Aged Care, Marsfield, NSW, where he died on 9 November 2021. May he rest in peace.


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