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New Old Guy In Town

Fr. Rick Walsh, CSP
July 7, 2023

I feel a bit different from the way I felt about my first coming to 5 Park Street in Boston.

Back in 2010, I was coming from the West Coast and eager to start a new ministry at the Paulist Center.

I was joined by a new director at that time, Fr. Frank Desiderio, and we, the staff inherited a 5-year plan from the previous director, Fr. Paul Huesing. It was then a great way to get to know the operations of the Paulist Center Community (PCC). As Frank, the pastoral staff and I worked with the members of the PCC to look at the next five years, we were made aware of the history of the PCC as well as the hopes shared by all for the future of the community.

Much has changed in our lives as Catholics, Americans, Bostonians since those special first few months.

As for me, I have served in a couple of new ministries beginning in 2014 when I was asked to be the local Superior for the Paulists in Boston. I continued to serve as a pastoral associate with Fr. Mike McGarry. Then in 2017 I convinced then-Speaker of the MA House of Representatives, Robert De Leo, that he needed to fulfill his first constitutional responsibility as penned by John Adams; namely to appoint a House Chaplain! I enjoyed my time on Beacon Hill in that capacity and it gave me the opportunity to learn more about my home state. For those of you who don’t know me, I am a rare bird in that I was born on the North Shore (Gloucester) and raised on the South Shore (Weymouth). Ask around, you won’t find many of us.

I was then asked by the Paulists to serve as the pastor of the “Original Paulist Parish,” St. Paul the Apostle Church at Lincoln Center in New York City. It was an honor to be asked and it was an honor to  lead the parish during the trying times of the pandemic. I’ll never forget walking down to Times Square on a Saturday in late March and being one of two people in the entire area with all the lights still shining brightly on Broadway!

I was asked by the Paulists to leave NYC and to come home to Boston to assist Fr. Rich Andre as a pastoral associate and to be the local Superior. I come to you with a hope that I can bring with me the experiences I had as the pastor of a complicated parish and share those exploits with others.

I am a hopeful person who enjoys celebrating the faith we have received from our spiritual father St. Paul. There is much to do here in the Hub and it is my sincere hope that I can be a part of something that invigorates our faith lives and brings the hope of Christ to others in and throughout the Archdiocese of Boston.