NCEA DISTINGUISHED PASTOR AWARD
Our very own Fr. Jim, has been recognized as the National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA) Distinguished Pastor for Region 6 (Ohio and Michigan). This award is presented by the NCEA Elementary Schools Department to honor pastors who have given outstanding support to Catholic elementary education. Criteria for the award was based on, but not limited to, his spiritual guidance to the school community, his clear philosophy of Catholic education, and his support of the school administration, Education Commission, and PTO. Fr. Jim participates in school activities and engages the community in providing support to the school, both financial and spiritual.
Through his years, Fr. Jim has been generous with his time and talents and his knowledge has served students of Catholic education from preschoolers through seminarians. His lifelong contributions give personal witness to the life of Jesus in serving others, and to his leadership of generations of people growing in faith.
Fr. Jim will receive his award at a ceremony in April at the NCEA Convention in Orlando, Florida.
Archbishop Dennis Schnurr, Superintendent Dr. Jim Rigg, and Principal Mr. Bill Cavanaugh nominated Fr. Jim Walsh with supporting letters of recommendation from a faculty member, a parish council member, and a parent.
As you may know, Fr. Jim grew up in Price Hill and attended St. William Elementary School and Elder High School. He was ordained in Rome and earned degrees in philosophy, theology and religious education. He began his ministry at the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in 1969. He has served as the president of the Athenaeum and rector of Mount St. Mary’s Seminary.
It was in 2000 that Fr. Jim came to us when he was named as pastor of St. Dominic Church. Fr. Jim’s commitment to strengthen the St. Dominic community includes the “Building to Serve” initiative, which provided a Parish Center and a Gathering Place for over 100 parish ministries. More than 200 parishioners have participated in the Christ Renews His Parish weekends of reflection under Fr. Jim’s guidance.
Fr. Jim displays visionary leadership, and the school’s success can be directly linked to his welcoming and warm approach. During his time as pastor, St. Dominic School earned the status of a national Blue Ribbon School of Excellence. St. Dominic Elementary School continues to thrive and has expanded to include a very successful preschool program.
Fr. Jim is also committed to the Delhi/Price Hill community. He has served on the boards of both Seton and Elder High Schools, and was awarded an honorary degree from Mount St. Joseph University where he delivered their 2014 Commencement Address. He is frequently invited to celebrate Mass, and other sacraments, at these institutions and at other west side churches. His advice is regularly solicited from area churches and schools.
In 2007, Fr. Jim was the chairman of the Future Schools Committee which provided information and recommendations to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati regarding the future of Catholic education in our area. He works with the St. Dominic School administration, the Education Commission and the Finance Committee in keeping Catholic education affordable and accessible to parents.
Many of our young children here at St. Dominic beam with pride when they tell him, “You baptized me.” Fr. Jim teaches all of us that we are beloved sons and daughters of our gracious God.
Fr. Jim is a humble, holy man who is devoted to Catholic education. He loves the Lord, learning, and family. He willingly shares his spiritual and educational gifts with all generations of faith at St. Dominic Parish
CONGRATULATIONS, Fr. Jim! You truly deserve to be recognized as the 2015 NCEA DISTINGUISHED PASTOR. Thank you for all you do and God bless you.