Father Hilary Welsh, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1869-1921)

Home / Biography / Father Hilary Welsh, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1869-1921)

Born James Welsh on March 30, 1869 in Danville, Pennsylvania, he was the son of James Walsh and Rose Clifford. At seventeen he went to work in Johnstown, Pennsylvania where he had the opportunity to hear a Passionist mission. He then went to the Passionist Preparatory School at St. Mary’s, Dunkirk, New York and on May 30 1889 entered the novitiate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The day after he entered there Johnstown was devastated by the horrific flood.. He professed his vows on September 24, 1890 and was ordained on September 19, 1896 in West Hoboken, New Jersey. At first he was sent to St. Paul, Kansas, later to Pittsburgh, and then Brighton, Massachusetts. Except for the first three years in parochial work he was a preacher of parish missions and retreats. Just prior to his death Father Welsh had been chosen as one of the original members of the Passionist community of St. Patrick on Sedgwick Avenue in the Bronx, New York which was in operation from December 1920 until 1923. Then the Passionists moved to Riverdale, New York. While at Sedgwick Avenue he was able to procure some financial donations for the new undertaking. His death came as a result of heart trouble which he had for several years. On March 7, 1921 just before he was to preach at St. Anslem’s Church, New York he complained of illness. Consulting a doctor, he was said to be OK but it was decided between the superior and doctor that Father Welsh be sent to the hospital. The next morning (he had not been told) Father Welsh died just before morning prayer after he had lit the chapel candles.