Obituary: Fr. Ambrose Walsh R.I.P.

Fr. Ambrose Walsh died peacefully on Thursday 12 November at the Marie Curie Hospice, Holme Tower, Penarth, following a short illness. He was born in Cardiff on 24 January 1938 in Cardiff and remained a faithful Cardiffian all his life. Faithful also to his sisters and extended family to whom we offer sympathy and prayers for the repose of his soul.

Educated at St. Illtyd’s College, Cardiff, he then trained in what is now the Royal Welsh college of Music and Drama. Following two years national Service in the RAF, he spent a year at Belmont Abbey, Hereford. Ambrose then applied to the Archdiocese of Cardiff and studied for the priesthood  at the English college, Valladolid, Spain. He was ordained priest at St. Mary’s Canton on 28 May 1966. Following ordination he undertook a number of parochial appointments. He became parish priest of Our Lady, Queen of the Universe, Llanishen, in 1974 and was the driving force behind the building of the newly re-named church and parish  of Christ the King which opened in 1978. There followed a number of appointments including Holy Cross, Swansea, St. Benedict, Sketty and St. David, Cwmbran. His final appointment was as  parish priest of St. Dyfrig’s Treforest in 1987 until he retired through ill health in the year 2000.

During his priestly ministry he also served in a number of important capacities in the Diocese, including secretary to the Archbishop, secretary of the Senate of Priests, Chair of the Liturgy Committee and Dean of North Gwent.

Ambrose Walsh was an educated and cultured man whose love of the music of Elgar was well known. He also had an immense gift for friendship. His wide circle of friends will testify to his capacity to keep in touch with them in meaningful ways over a long time and great distance. A prolific author, he used his literary skills in publishing a number of works of theology and pastoral practice based on his experience  and involvement with the life of the Charismatic Movement within the Church. As a regular and articulate correspondent to The Tablet and other media outlets, he was thoughtful and insightful in his views of contemporary culture and the place of the Church in the world. May he Rest in Peace.

The Funeral Mass will take place at St. Mary’s Canton at 12.30pm on Friday 27 November in accordance with the protocols lay down by the Welsh Government. It will be followed by cremation at Thornhill Crematorium at 2.15pm. A public Memorial Mass will be offered as soon as circumstances allow.