The Archdiocese has learned that one of its diocesan priests, Fr. John Emmett Walsh, has been appointed to the Order of Canada.
The list of new inductees, numbering 125 Canadians, was released Dec. 29, 2017 by Governor General Julie Payette.
The government citation states that Fr. Walsh is being honored "for his profound ability to forge ties and encourage dialogue between faith communities and for his long-standing commitment to charitable causes."
The archdiocese would like to add that, as a priest for 51 years, Fr. Walsh has generously served the local Catholic community as a curate, chaplain, pastor, Biblical scholar, professor and in various diocesan ministries. At the same time, his faith has led him "to build human relationships in concrete ways so that what we say and do together brings about liberation and peace," as he says in his autobiography God is Calling.
To this end, he has forged strong ties with many members of the various religious traditions in the Greater Montreal area, organizing interfaith prayer events and participating in interfaith dialogue and initiatives.
The diocese is well aware of and appreciates his long-standing involvement with Communauté Nazareth Community, which operates two refuges for the city's downtown poor, as well as with Dîner des Fêtes - A Holiday Luncheon, which serves meals to about 500 people in need at Christmastime and which he launched 15 years ago.
In his autobiography, Fr. Walsh writes: "Our spiritual lives are the connectivity with all creation and the poor. Our mission is to work for justice ... we can start wherever we are."
Fr. Walsh has made this exhortation his own in word and deed. The Archdiocese is happy with the conferral of this recognition by the government. It's with joy that we have learned of this honor.