Superior of Heston White Fathers and parish priest of Heston since December 1948, Father Francis Walsh, D. D., D. PH., has been made CATHOLIC BISHOP OF ABERDEEN, it was learned this week.
Father Walsh was born in Cirencester in 1901 and educated at Blairs College, Aberdeen. He was ordained in 1925 after studying at the Scots College, and Gregorian University in Rome. He joined the White Fathers in 1929. Two years later he went to the Scottish borders to establish White Fathers at Melrose and Newtown St Boswells.
Better known in Scotland than in England, he has a faint hint of Doric in his speech, although he has no Scottish blood. Scholarly witty, unconventional, open minded and open handed, Father Walsh is something of an authority on church music. He has published works on Plainsong and Philosophy for the layman. He is expected back here from a short visit to his family in Scotland on July the 16th. a few weeks before his installation as Bishop.
In 1949, the new Provincial Fr Howell brought Fr Walsh down to Heston as Parish Priest and First Counsellor of the Province. His Parishioners soon came to know his pastoral zeal and endless charity. His sermons, though somewhat academic, always carried a punch line, which left one or other of his parishioners reeling.
Our Lady Queen of Apostles Church at Heston
Tramps increasingly found their way to the front door. One even took up RESIDENCE IN THE GARDEN TOOL SHED and came to be known as ST. JOSEPH BECAUSE OF HIS PATRIARCHAL APPEARANCE.
On the 22nd January 1951, Fr Walsh's name was put forward (secundo loco) to Rome as Bishop of Nyassa, and at the same time as Bishop of Aberdeen. Previously he had been considered for Uganda and Bangweulu. Bishop Matheson of Aberdeen had died of cancer after only three years on his See. Fr Walsh was highly recommended by Bishop Durrieu, who also, it seems, advised Fr Walsh to accept Aberdeen because of the great help he could give there to the missionary cause in Scotland.
His appointment was announced on the 28th June 1951. The next day was the Silver Jubilee of Fr Howell and of his old friend from Columbier days, Bishop Durrieu. This Jubilee was first celebrated at Heston where Bishop-elect Walsh, as Superior of the house and Parish Priest, spoke at the lunch. He recalled the close links that bound him both to the Provincial and to the Society.