Obituary: Father Martin Walsh at 58

Father Martin J. Walsh returned one last time to his home parish, St. Ann in Peabody on June 27. The 58-year-old priest of the archdiocese died at Kaplan Family Hospital in Danvers on June 21 following a lingering illness. With Father Walsh at the time of his death were members of his large family and friends as well as hospice caretakers.

Martin Walsh was one of the seven children of archdiocesan permanent deacon Martin Walsh and his wife Elizabeth (Anktell) Walsh both of Peabody. He grew up in Peabody and attended Bishop Fenwick High School and on graduation he entered the archdiocesan seminaries first at Cardinal O’Connell Seminary, Jamaica Plain, then St. Clement Seminary, Brighton and completed his seminary formation at St. John’s Seminary, Brighton.

Cardinal Humberto Medeiros ordained him to the priesthood at Holy Cross Cathedral on May 18, 1974 and assigned him as associate pastor of Our Lady Comforter of the Afflicted Parish in Waltham.

In 1981 her served briefly as an associate at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Swampscott before being on a health leave. He returned to full-time priestly ministry in 1982 being named associate at Immaculate Conception Parish, Malden and less than two years later he was appointed as chaplain of Malden Catholic High School. This assignment would be the longest single assignment of his all too brief priestly ministry. He remained in Malden being named parochial vicar at Sacred Hearts Parish serving there from 1992 to 1997.

Between the end of his assignment in Malden and his appointment in 1999 as parochial vicar at Immaculate Conception Parish, Salem Father Walsh was on health leave. In 2002 he was granted permanent disability status following a return to active priestly ministry from another health leave.

During the past few years he has been assisting at St. Joseph Parish in Somerville’s Union Square section.

In addition to his parents, Father Walsh’s survivors include his siblings: Eileen Spence, Ipswich; Louise Chase, Sutton; Eugene, Marietta, Ga.; Mary Skerry, Thomas and Robert, all of Peabody. Following his Funeral Mass at St. Ann Parish, Father Walsh was buried in Cedar Grove Cemetery, Peabody.