Fr. Martin de Porres Walsh, O.P.
Fr. Martin, born John (Jack) Walsh in Vallejo, California, attended
St. Vincent Ferrer grammar and high schools, graduating with his
beloved Class of 1956. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree
from USF in 1961, he returned to his hometown high school to
teach English for two years. It was then that he first became involved
in his passion—ministering to the third world—as one of the
founders of Amigos Anonymous, now a nationwide program
directing college students in social work among rural villagers in
Mexico. Concurrently he was working toward a Bachelor of
Philosophy degree at St. Albert College in Oakland, which he
received in 1966, and continued on to a Master of Divinity degree
from Berkeley’s Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology in '76.
Since ordination to the priesthood in 1969, Fr. Martin has served in a wide variety of endeavors: He ministered at St. Dominic Priory in San Francisco, serving as parochial vicar, and later serving as pastor for eight years, during which he oversaw the highly successful church restoration project. He served eight years at our mission in Mexicali and six years as novice master for the Western Dominican Province. Concurrent with his ministries, he was on staff at Mt. Zion's Westside Mental Health Center in San Francisco as well as St. Albert College Program for Career Development of Clergy. He has served on the boards of directors of the San Francisco African American Historical and Cultural Society; the Dominican Biblical School of Jerusalem (Ecole Biblique); and the Dominican School of Philosophy and Theology. He also consulted for the Mexican government on the restoration of the Dominican missions of Baja California and was a contributing editor to the African American Heritage Bible. From 2007 to 2011, while also serving as Director of our Dominican Mission Foundation, he served as director of San Francisco's Shrine of St. Jude.
The last several years of his tenure, Fr. Martin was officially in residence at his beloved Mexicali parish of Santa Maria de Guadalupe, visiting our mission office in San Francisco regularly to perform his administrative duties. Much of his time was spent preaching weekend mission appeals, in both Spanish and English, at parishes throughout the west at the invitation of their dioceses’ Propagation of the Faith offices. All of the financial proceeds of his itinerant preaching went directly to support our missions. It is due to Fr. Martin's enthusiastic guidance and unstoppable energy that the spiritual health and quality of life of those in our mission areas continued to improve.
But now, this past July, after 19 years of expertly guiding our office, visiting and actively serving at some of our missions, and preaching all over the western states about our mission ministries, Father’s tenure has deservedly come to an end. His official jobs currently include hearing confessions and celebrating Mass for the Spanish-speaking at St. Dominic’s, San Francisco and attending to the Shrine of St. Jude pilgrims. He asks only that we “please add this elder missionary” to our prayers, that he may continue to approach his ministries with enthusiasm and zeal.