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Fr. Robert J. Welsh, SJ (1936-2018)

Posted August 30, 2018 in Articles

The Saint Martin de Porres community is saddened to announce the passing of our first Vice President of Mission, Fr. Robert Welsh. Fr. Welsh was instrumental in working with Saint Martin Founding President Rich Clark in the building of our school. Fr. Welsh was also instrumental in adding Pray into our motto. We still honor him to this day at each graduation with the Fr. Welsh Work-Study-Serve-Lead-Pray award. Founding President Clark said “When I asked Fr. Welsh if I could work on forming a school for families that have trouble affording a college prep Catholic school, without blinking an eye he said,’Maybe that's what we ought to be doing!’ And off we went!” You can pay your respects and celebrate the life of Fr. Welsh today as you can read here in his obituary. Rest in Peace Fr. Welsh.

"Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Robert J. Welsh, S.J., who died on Thursday, August 30, 2018, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan. Fr. Welsh was born on June 6, 1936, in Cleveland, Ohio. He entered the Society of Jesus on September 1, 1954, at Milford Novitiate in Milford, Ohio. He was ordained on June 14, 1967 at Colombiere College in Clarkston, Michigan. He took final vows on March 25, 1976 in Cleveland, Ohio. Fr. Welsh attended Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland before entering the Society (1950-1954). After entering the Society, Fr. Welsh earned a Bachelor's Degree (1959) and Master's Degrees in History (1965) and Theology (1968) from Loyola University Chicago. He earned a Licentiate in Philosophy from West Baden College in West Baden, Indiana, (1961) and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Bellarmine School of Theology in North Aurora, Illinois (1968). Fr. Welsh also earned honorary doctorates from the College of the Holy Cross (1995) and John Carroll University (1996). Fr. Welsh spent most of his Jesuit life working at Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland. During regency Fr. Welsh taught Latin at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School (1961-1964). After ordination, Fr. Welsh returned to Saint Ignatius High School where he taught theology and was director of student spiritual counseling (1968-1972). He left Cleveland for one year while he did Tertianship at St. Beuno's College in St. Asaph in North Wales, United Kingdom. Fr. Welsh returned to Saint Ignatius and worked in the student counseling and religious formation departments (1973-1974). He became the school's first director of development in 1974. In 1979, Fr. Welsh became the president of Saint Ignatius High School. While president he developed the campus and made Christ-centered education a hallmark of the school. Fr. Welsh's desire was for Saint Ignatius to be dedicated to the spiritual development of the students, faculty, staff, and parents. Thus, he supported the development of a well-staffed campus ministry and participated himself in retreats. The capstone for Fr. Welsh was the building of St. Mary's Chapel with the support of Mr. Murlan Murphy. Fr. Welsh said "No boy should come to school without passing a church." While he was president, Fr. Welsh was an auxiliary Detroit Province consultant (1980-1982) and a Province Consultor (1982-1989). After Fr. Welsh completed his presidency, he took a sabbatical, and then became pastor of Gesu Parish in Toledo, Ohio (2001-2003). In 2004, he moved back to Cleveland to be Vice-President for Mission at St. Martin de Porres High School where he also helped with staff formation (2004-2006). He was superior of the Saint Ignatius Jesuit Community (2007-2010) while also being a student chaplain and spiritual director for faculty and staff at Saint Ignatius (2008-2015). Fr. Welsh also was the assistant director for Mission and Identity at Jesuit Retreat House beginning in 2008. He also worked in a healing ministry while serving as president of Saint Ignatius. A profound love of the Lord Jesus was at the center of his life and all he undertook. He moved to Colombiere Center in 2015. A visitation will be held Tuesday, September 4, 2018 from 3 to 9 p.m. at St. Mary of the Assumption Chapel on the campus of Saint Ignatius High School, 1911 W. 30th St., Cleveland, OH 44113. The Funeral Mass will be Wednesday, September 5 at 10 a.m. at Gesu Parish Church, 2470 Miramar Blvd., University Heights, Ohio 44118."

Fr. Robert J. Welsh, SJ (1936-2018)


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