Flavian Walsh, OFM
1930 – 2012
Fr. Flavian Walsh, OFM, was born April 28, 1930 in Springfield, Mass., and was baptized Francis William. He attended St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., and was received into the Order at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1950, where he received the religious name Flavian Anthony. He professed first vows there one year later and made his solemn profession in 1954. He was ordained in 1956 at the Franciscan Monastery in Washington.
His first assignment was as a teacher and assistant prefect of discipline, as well as baseball and basketball coach, at St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary. In 1960, he volunteered for foreign mission work. Fr. Flavian was assigned to Gumma Prefecture in Japan, working in the parishes of Omama, Numata, and Maebashi. In 1966, he went to St. Francis Friary in Kiryu, where he served in a variety of capacities, including as superior of the Gumma mission from 1970 to 1976. While in that role, he represented the Franciscan missions of the Far East at the 1971 General Chapter and was involved in establishing the new Japanese province. He served as pastor of the Franciscan Chapel Center in Tokyo from 1976 to 1981.
He returned to the United States for a sabbatical in 1981. Fr. Flavian was also appointed to the first Franciscan International Mission Council, serving on the executive committee to keep both friars and the public abreast of developments in the Franciscan missions throughout the world. In June 1982, he was elected a Provincial councilor. Several years later, he was appointed guardian and pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in New York City.
Fr. Flavian was elected Provincial Vicar of Holy Name Province in 1987. Upon completing his term in 1996, he returned to full-time pastoral work, ministering at Our Lady of the Angels Parish in Little Falls, N.J. In 1999, he accepted an appointment as assistant director of novices at St. Paul’s Friary, Wilmington, Del., where his wisdom and candor were deeply appreciated. In 2008, he joined the pastoral staff of St. Anthony Shrine, Boston. He retired to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., four years later.
He died on Oct. 12, 2012 in Chilton Hospital, Pompton Plains, N.J. He was 82 years old, a professed friar for 61 years and a priest for 56 years.