Cumberland Times-News

April 25, 2014

List should have included Bishop Walsh, who served 12 years in Chinese prison

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— According to a survey to determine the names of Allegany County’s most famous citizens, actors, jocks and a politician or two made the list. Does anyone remember Bishop James Edward Walsh (1891-1981)?

Bishop Walsh was a Cumberland boy who was ordained a Maryknoll Missionary in 1915. He was the first American bishop in China at age 36. Bishop Walsh was arrested by the Chinese Communists in 1958 and accused of spying for the Vatican and America.

He served 12 years of his 20-year sentence before being released in 1970. Bishop Walsh harbored no resentment of the Chinese people whom he loved and served.

 How much do local people know of this saintly man? Everyone knows the name BW, but sadly even the Bishop Walsh website has incorrect information about him.

Mary Susan Murphy Resser

Cumberland