Sister Virginia Walsh, R.S.M.

Sister Virginia

Sister Virginia Walsh, R.S.M., 93, a Sister of Mercy of the Americas Mid-Atlantic Community for 76 years, died July 8 at her residence in Fresh Meadows.

Born in New York City, she attended St. Gerard Majella School, Hollis, and Mercy Juniorate H.S., Fort Greene, before entering the Sisters of Mercy Novitiate, Syosset, in 1941. She professed final vows in 1947.

In 1957, she received a bachelor’s degree in education from St. John’s University in Jamaica, followed by a master’s degree in special education from Seton Hall University, South Orange, N.J.

She was formerly known as Sister Mary Nathaniel during her many years of service in the Brooklyn Diocese. She taught at St. Thomas Aquinas, Flatlands, 1944-46; Holy Rosary, Bedford-Stuyvesant, 1946-50, and St. Brigid, Bushwick, 1951-60.

In 1950, she cooked for St. Mary’s Home, Syosset, and, in 1960, she began a career as a teacher for blind children with the Catholic Guild for the Blind. She also served as vocation director for the Brooklyn Sisters of Mercy.

In 1974, she volunteered with the Peace Corps in a local school system in Barbados, West Indies.

Subsequent years of ministry included administration work in St. Francis Prep, Fresh Meadows; guidance counselor at Catherine McAuley H.S., East Flatbush; special education teacher for the NYC Board of Education at P.S. 12, Testagrossa Center, and Fort Hamilton Army Base in Brooklyn; prison ministry in a program run in St. Agatha’s parish, Sunset Park, and management of two residences for young people with special needs.

After three years of social services ministry with the Queens Hospital Center, Jamaica, she retired from formal ministry in 1993. She continued to visit the sick, as well as shop for and deliver food for the poor on a regular basis.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated in the Sisters of Mercy Convent, Whitestone.