James Walsh, May He Rest in Peace

December 8, 2020

"Well done, good and faithful servant..."

One can easily imagine the Lord welcoming Jim into his heavenly kingdom with this verse from Matthew 25:21.

On December 7, 2020, James Walsh, long-time parishioner and active member of the parish community, passed away. It is with heavy hearts that we share this news and pray that his family, friends, and our entire parish community find comfort in our memories of praying with and serving alongside him. Many recall volunteering with him as ushers, welcoming visitors and parishioners on Sundays, while others will forever remember Jim for his service to the poor. Jim’s most outstanding characteristics of kindness and charity were admired by many who had the honor to serve with him on Monday mornings at St. Matthew’s Homeless Ministry. His kind demeanor in welcoming volunteers onboard to serve our unhoused and struggling brothers and sisters inspired many to remember to see Christ in their neighbor. 

During his last days, Jim shared with one of his sisters that he was at peace and ready to move on to heaven. Having been lovingly cared for by his sister, Sr. Ann, and visited by Msgr. Jameson who brought him Holy Communion and Anointing, and by the hospital’s chaplain, one can imagine that the Lord granted him a holy death. 

Let us pray that the Lord and Our Mother Mary bring his family comfort during this difficult time. While our hearts grieve this great loss, we are confident of the grand celebration waiting to welcome him into heaven. 

Jim retired in 2010 as an Administrative Trademark Judge in the U. S. Patent and Trade Office. He served as a Team Leader of St. Matthew’s weekly Homeless Ministry since 2005, and as the Coordinator of this ministry for the past 9 years. Jim received the Archdiocese of Washington's Manifesting the Kingdom award in 2017 in recognition of his dedicated service to our church. 

Every Monday morning he led a team of volunteers in serving breakfast to over 60 homeless guests, discussing the upcoming Sunday’s Gospel reading, and providing toiletries, clothing and brown bag lunches. Regular duties in this role included picking up and coordinating drop-offs of donated food, purchasing supplies and holiday gifts for our guests, and organizing the Monday morning volunteers. He frequently went above and beyond what was asked of him, whether in overseeing the Homeless Ministry program and its many guests, or gathering a group of parishioners to visit a single bedridden guest on their birthday. Jim recognized the individual and through his attentive service to the poor and homeless, he acknowledged every guest as a son and daughter of God the Father. 

 St. Matthew’s Social Justice Ministry is blessed with many volunteers who give of themselves in time and talent in order to respond to the Gospel call of seeing Christ in our neighbor. Jim’s many years of service have been an inspiration to so many who strive to lovingly carry out the mission entrusted to us in chapter 25 of Matthew’s gospel of feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger, and clothing the naked. Jim helped to create an ambience at our Monday morning ministry that offered our guests time for rest and reflection. In his hospitable service of our guests, he affirmed the dignity of the Lord’s unhoused children. 

 

 

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May his soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

- Norma Canedo, Coordinator for Social Justice Ministries