The Reverend John A. Walsh, 68, died on Friday, March 10, 2023, at St. Vincent Hospital, Erie.
Father Walsh was born on November 3, 1954, in Meadville, Pennsylvania, the son of Walter and Josephine (Novotny) Walsh. After attending Summit Township Elementary School in Harmonsburg and Linesville-Conneaut-Summit High School, he entered St. Mark Seminary in 1972 and began his formation for the priesthood while attending Gannon University where he received his BA. He continued his formation for the priesthood at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora, New York, where he earned his MA, and was ordained a priest on May 16, 1980 at St. Peter Cathedral, Erie, by Bishop Alfred Watson.
He began his priestly ministry as Parochial Vicar at St. Stephen Parish, Oil City. In 1982, he was appointed Parochial Vicar of Beloved Disciple Parish, Grove City, where he also served as Campus Minister for Grove City College. After eight years in Grove City, he was named Administrator of St. Anne Parish, Wilcox, and its mission of Holy Cross in Rasselas in 1990. In 1993, he was named Pastor of St. Michael Parish, Fryburg, and in 1998 became Pastor of St. Peter Parish in Conneautville, where he remained until his early retirement in 2014. During most of his tenure at St. Peter Parish, he also served as Pastor of his home parish of St. Philip in Linesville.
Though Father Walsh contended with poor health during much of the later part of his life and had to take health leave on several occasions, he remained in active ministry as long as possible, even returning to his beloved St. Peter Parish after a health leave which lasted years. In 2014, his health forced him to resign the pastorate of St. Peter Parish and he moved to the Michael J. Murphy Home for Retired Priests. From there he served as Sacramental/Pastoral Assistant at St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception Parish, Erie, until further deterioration of his health necessitated a move to St. Mary’s Home East (now Nightingale Nursing and Rehab Center), Erie, in 2015.
Father Walsh was preceded in death by his parents.
Visitation will take place on Tuesday, Mar. 14, from 4:00pm – 7:00pm at St. Philip Church, 401 S. Mercer St., Linesville, PA, and again on Wednesday, Mar. 15, from 9:00am – 10:45am. The funeral Mass will begin at 11:00am Wednesday, also at St. Philip Church, with Bishop Lawrence Persico presiding.
Interment will be in St. Philip Cemetery, Linesville.
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