Born John J. Walsh on March 2, 1905 in Brooklyn, New York. he was the son of Michael Walsh and Margaret Fortune. He attended Brooklyn Public Grammar School from 1912 to 1918, Brooklyn Public High School from 1919 to 1921, and Cooper Union Engineering College, New York from 1921 to 1925. He then proceeded on to Holy Cross Passionist Seminary, Dunkirk, New York from 1926 to 1927. On August 15, 1928 he professed his vows and received the name Romuald. Student life was in Scranton, Pennsylvania; Baltimore, Maryland and Jamaica, New York from 1928 to 1934, and he was ordained on April 28, 1934 in Scranton by Thomas C. O’Reilly.
After ordination he was a Professor of Sacred Scripture from 1935 to 1937, then a retreat master from 1937 to 1939 at Our Mother of Sorrows Retreat, West Springfield, Massachusetts. From 1939 to 1943 he was retreat director at St. Paul’s Retreat, Pitttsburgh, Pennsylvania. During World War II, 1942 to 1946, he was a military chaplain in the U.S. Navy. After the war ended from 1947 to 1950 he was vicar at Jamaica. Once again, from 1950 to 1965 he was a chaplain in the U.S. Navy. From 1965 to 1996 he resided at the Jamaica monastery.