Walsh, Thomas Joseph

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Walsh, Thomas Joseph

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1899-1983

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Thomas Joseph Walsh, S.J. was born in Sherbrooke, Quebec on March 13, 1899. After attending Loyal College in Montreal and serving as an officer in the Canadian Officers Training Corps, he joined the Jesuit novitiate in Guelph, Ontario in 1923 with the “desire to serve the aboriginal people of Northern Ontario.” He proceeded to complete his education between Guelph and Mount Saint Michael’s in Spokane, Washington; he was then assigned to the residential school in Spanish, Ontario from 1927 to 1929 where he taught classes and studied Ojibwe. He finished his studies at Immaculée-Conception in Montreal and was ordained a priest in August of 1932, followed by studies at St. Beuno’s College in Wales.

In 1935, Father Walsh returned to the residential school in Spanish as minister and disciplinarian, but left to take up nine years of teaching at Loyola College. For the next 22 years, beginning in 1945, Father Walsh served as national director of the Sacred Heart Program—a 15-minute radio program of religious instruction and music. His resulting friendship with various radio broadcasters allowed Father Walsh to fundraise and sponsor a series of broadcasted lectures and concerts, and in 1956, a televised component of the Sacred Heart Program was taken up. In 1967 Walsh retired from his director duties and took up parish work, mostly centred around Toronto, and then later—from 1976 to 1981—in the archdiocese of Montreal. In 1981, he retired to the Jesuit Infirmary in Pickering, Ontario, and died two years later.

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