POMPTON PLAINS, N.J. — Flavian Walsh, OFM, 82, a professed friar for 61 years and a priest for 56, died Oct. 12.
A wake was held at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi in New York City on Oct. 15, and a Mass of Christian Burial on Oct. 16, also at St. Francis. Interment followed at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Totowa, N.J.
A native of Springfield, Mass., Flavian was born April 28, 1930, to William and Anna Walsh. He attended Sacred Heart School in Springfield until 8th grade, after which he entered St. Joseph’s Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., in 1944.
He was received into the Order on Aug. 12, 1950 at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., where he professed his first vows on Aug. 13, 1951. He completed his undergraduate education at St. Stephen Friary in Croghan, N.Y., and St. Anthony Friary in Butler, N.J., receiving a bachelor’s in philosophy from St. Bonaventure University in 1953. He then studied theology at Holy Name College in Washington, D.C.
He professed his solemn vows on Aug. 13, 1954 and was ordained to the priesthood on June 11, 1956 in Washington, D.C.
Flavian’s first assignment was to St. Joseph’s Seminary, where he taught history and was assistant prefect of discipline from 1957 to 1960. In 1960, Flavian volunteered for foreign mission work. After studying the Japanese language and culture for two years in Tokyo, he was assigned to pastoral work in Gumma Prefecture in Japan.
While there, he served in a variety of ministries, including parish work, formation of Japanese friars, and retreats with Christian and non-Christian students as well as religious women. In 1970, he was appointed superior of the Gumma mission, and was chosen to attend the Franciscan General Chapter in Medellin as representative of the Franciscan missions in the Far East in 1971. He also served as pastor of the Franciscan Chapel Center in Tokyo from 1976 to 1981.
In 1981, Flavian was appointed to the International Mission Council of the Franciscan Order, serving on its executive committee. He returned to Boston that year, where he lived at St. Anthony Shrine.
One year later, Flavian was elected a Provincial Councilor. In 1985, he was appointed guardian and pastor of St. Francis Church in New York City, where he was especially active in promoting the “Come Home Program” for alienated Catholics.
In 1987, Flavian was elected Provincial Vicar and director of personnel of Holy Name Province. Upon completing two terms in 1996, he was assigned as parochial vicar at Our Lady of the Holy Angels Parish in Little Falls, N.J. Three years later, he became assistant director of novices at St. Paul’s Friary in Wilmington, Del. In 2008, he was assigned to the pastoral staff of St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. In August of this year, Flavian retired at Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J.
— Compiled by Theresa Bartha and Dominic Monti, OFM