Sister Mary Ann Walsh, Catholic journalist and longtime bishops’ spokeswoman, dies at 68

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(RNS) Sister Mary Ann Walsh was director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Religion News Service file photo courtesy U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

(RNS) Sister Mary Ann Walsh was director of media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Religion News Service file photo courtesy U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

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NEW YORK (RNS) Sister Mary Ann Walsh, a quiet nun with a keen wit who led a very public life as a journalist and a longtime spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, died on Tuesday (April 28) after a tough battle with cancer.

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  • Helen Osman

    David,
    What a wonderful tribute. You wrote straight and true, just as SMAW would have expected of you. Thank you.

  • This is a wonderful obit but Mary Ann was anything but quiet!

  • Kim Daniels

    Such a great article!

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  • Robert Mickens

    Beautifully written!

  • Jim Lindsay

    Thank you for this wonderful tribute! S. Mary Ann was a great help to us at Catholic Volunteer Network and helped me write my first press release back in 1996. She also was instrumental in getting her friend, Cokie Roberts, to speak at one of our events. I always saw her as a straight shooter who managed a difficult job very well. May she rest in God’s peace!

  • David:
    This is a wonderful tribute to Sister Mary Ann. She was an exceptional journalist and embodied the best of the charisms of the Sisters of Mercy. The was a woman of great faith and true blue. And with that Irish wit, a master of the clever quip. Nice job, my friend.

  • David Spotanski

    What a great lady and a wonderful woman of faith! We’ll miss her and the Church will miss her.

    Beautifully written tribute, David, although I’m sure she’d spot something that could use touching up….

  • Margaret

    Sister Mary Ann was my high school English teacher. I have many fond memories.

  • Excellent remembrance, David. Sister Mary Ann and I didn’t have many dealings over the course of our respective Catholic and Protestant media careers, but our few encounters were invigorating, like a shot of good Irish whiskey. I respected her enormously, and she will be missed.

  • With much sadness I read of her death. This wonderful tribute has made me so thankful I was privileged to know her through the Catholic Press Association. Now I can smile and celebrate her life, she will be missed.

  • A very nice tribute to a remarkably skilled woman. I learned more from Sr. Mary Ann when she reviewed a press release I wrote for the 2009 Study on Recent Vocations than in all my years in publishing. She will be missed and remembered. How fitting that in her final days she felt the all-encompassing embrace of mercy–the signature charism of her community.

  • I went to grade school with Mary Ann at the then PS 23 on Whitehall Rd in Albany. She was the top student in the class, and attended that school for a couple of years, I think. I’m glad to hear that Sister Mary Ann had a wonderful and fulfilling life, but sad our paths did not cross again since grade school.

    RIP Sr. Mary Ann

  • Tod Tamberg

    Hi David:

    I add my name to those expressing their thanks for this appreciation of Sister Mary Ann’s life and ministry. Good to see other familiar names in the comment section who knew and collaborated with her over the years. For all the reasons you mention — and more — she was fun and instructive to watch as she went about her daily work, especially in high-pressure situations. I will miss her kind heart and her wry smile.