Fr TomÃ¡s Walsh SMA
THE URBAN APOSTOLATE…
“My SMA career began when every Friday I passed around the SMA Mission Box to my fellow workers at Carroll’s Cigarette depot in Cork. I was working there at the time… I always got nice letters back from the SMA Fathers… and I remember getting very nice calendars at Christmas… So when I wanted to become a priest I thought the SMA should be the first I should write to and they had the awful misfortune to take me!”
TomÃ¡s has spent all his missionary life in Nigeria. After ordination he was assigned to the Archdiocese of Lagos involved in the urban apostolate.
While in the seminary TomÃ¡s became actively involved in issues of social injustice and he has maintained that interest throughout his missionary life. He has always been interested in medicine too. From the combination of these two interests he was able to campaign for improved healthcare for women and an end to some of the medical malpractice in areas where he worked.
When he began work in Abuja, the new Federal Capital of Nigeria was just developing. He got involved in pastoral work, developing a parish which has since been subdivided into three parishes. He also helped the Archbishop in setting up the diocesan structures. He is currently the financial administrator for the diocese.
His typical day involves spending the morning either in the Diocesan Chancery or in a clinic. He visits a private secondary school in the parish for which he is responsible. He is also constructing a 2000-seater church in the parish. In the evenings he celebrates Mass for the parishioners and the average attendance is about 500 people. Then he finds time to organise co-operatives and credit unions in his area.
“I think being a missionary allows me to be a boy scout for ever. The diversity of the work… no two days are ever the same… I also have a great love for the Nigerian people and I get more from them in many areas than I have ever given. This is the magnetic pull that brings me back each time”.
Interested in giving a hand?
Contact the SMA Vocations Director.