Cormac Walsh, OFM
1916 – 1977
Fr. Cormac Walsh, OFM, was born in Roxbury, Mass., on Jan. 28, 1916. After graduating from St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary, Callicoon, N.Y., he entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson, N.J., on Aug. 12, 1942. He professed temporary vows Aug. 13, 1943, and made his profession of solemn vows Sept. 17, 1946. He was ordained a priest on June 12, 1948.
Fr. Cormac’s first assignment was to St. Anthony’s Parish in Greenville, S.C. In 1952, he became an Army chaplain and immediately went to Korea. He was the most decorated chaplain of the Korean War and was named Chaplain of the Year in 1955.
The citation stated: “He was a beacon of courage and inspiration to his regiment, repeatedly risking his own life to help the wounded … carrying many men to safety.”
During his chaplain years, Fr. Cormac also wrote articles for Friar and Extension magazines. He went from the Army to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston for a year and then became the chaplain of Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora, N.Y., where he worked for 18 years. An inmate summed up Fr. Cormac’s life with the tribute: “He created a legend of goodness and left us a legacy of love.”
He died in Tampa, Fla., on May 3, 1977. Fr. Cormac was 61 years old, a professed friar for 33 years and a priest for 28 years.