THIS year’s guest preacher at the annual Triduum in the Black Abbey Kilkenny is Bishop Emeritus Willie Walsh.
The annual Triduum in Honour of Our Lady of Lourdes takes place in the Black Abbey Kilkennyfrom February 9 to 11.
.Bishop Emeritus Willie Walsh was born in the parish of Roscrea Co. Tipperary. He studied for the priesthood at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth and the Pontifical Irish College in Rome. He was ordained in Rome in 1959.
After ordination Bishop Walsh returned to the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome for further studies where he was awarded a Doctorate in Canon Law. On his return to Ireland he was appointed to the staff of Coláiste Éinde in Galway. He was appointed to the staff of St. Flannan’s College in Ennis in 1963 and taught Maths, Science, Physics and Religion for 25 years until his appointment as curate at the Cathedral in Ennis in 1988.
In 1990 he was appointed as Administrator of the Cathedral and held that position until he was appointed as Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese in 1994. He was ordained Bishop at the Cathedral in Ennis in 1994. He served as Bishop of the Diocese for sixteen years. He submitted his resignation to Pope Benedict XVI on reaching his 75th birthday in January 2010. He remained as Bishop of Killaloe until the appointment of Bishop Kieran O’Reilly on 16th May 2011.
Bishop Walsh was one of the founder members of the Catholic Marriage Advisory Council, (later to become ACCORD) in the Diocese of Killaloe. During his time as Bishop he worked tirelessly to promote reconciliation and healing. He gained world- wide attention for his Pilgrimage of Reconciliation during Advent 1999 when he undertook to walk across the Diocese from Loop Head to Kinnity as a sign of solidarity and repentance to all who had been hurt, in the past by the Church.
He has had a life-long passion for the sport and in particular hurling. He has been involved in coaching hurling teams at club, college and county grades.
He now lives in retirement in the parish of Ennis.