Walsh, Francis Augustine
WALSH, FRANCIS AUGUSTINE
Philosopher, author, and one of the founders of St. Anselm's Priory; b. near Cincinnati, March 21, 1884; d. Washington, D.C., Aug. 12, 1938. Walsh's parents were Thomas and Mary (Comerford) Walsh, from Ireland. He received his A.B. in 1903 and his Ph.D. in 1922 from Xavier University, Cincinnati, Ohio. He attended Mt. St. Mary's Seminary of the West, Norwood, Ohio, and Capranica College in Rome, and was ordained in 1907. After four years in parish work he joined Mt. St. Mary's faculty and was professor of philosophy and vice rector from 1914 to 1921, except for a period as chaplain during World War I. In 1923, while pastor of St. Andrew's Parish in Cincinnati, he joined the Benedictines and went to St. Benedict's Abbey, Fort Augustus, Scotland, for his novitiate.
A professed Benedictine with the name of Augustine, he returned to Washington in 1924 to help establish St. Anselm's Priory (now Abbey) near The Catholic University of America. He taught philosophy at Catholic University and at Trinity College, Washington, D.C., published several books on the spiritual life and philosophy, and wrote pamphlets and articles for Catholic journals. He also edited six Benedictine Historical Monographs (1926–31); the Placidian (1924–30), a quarterly review (both published at St. Anselm's Priory); and the New Roman Missal (1937). He was associate editor of Studies in Psychology and Psychiatry (1926–38), sponsored by Catholic University, and president of the American Catholic Philosophical Association (1933–34) and editor of its review New Scholasticism (1936–38).
Dom Augustine promoted the liturgical awakening in the Church in the U.S. and worked vigorously in the early 1930s to improve the lot of African-Americans, founding and directing the Clergy Conference on Negro Welfare (1933–38) and the Newman Club at Howard University, Washington, D.C. He was the first national director of the Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (1933–38), and a member of a special advisory committee of the National Catholic Educational Association (1928–38).