Sister Mary Ann Walsh, woman of faith, writer, spokeswoman, dies at 68

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April 29, 2015

Mercy Sister Mary Ann Walsh, 68, a writer in the Catholic press and longtime spokeswoman for the U.S. bishops, died April 28 in Albany, N.Y. She is pictured during the 2012 Catholic Media Conference in Indianapolis. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec) See OBIT-WALSH April 29, 2015.

Mercy Sister Mary Ann Walsh, 68, a writer in the Catholic press and longtime spokeswoman for the U.S. bishops, died April 28 in Albany, N.Y. She is pictured during the 2012 Catholic Media Conference in Indianapolis. (CNS photo/Nancy Wiechec)

ALBANY, N.Y. (CNS) — Mercy Sister Mary Ann Walsh, who went from hometown schoolteacher to Vatican correspondent, lived out her drive to be a writer even in her last days. She died April 28 in her hometown of Albany, New York, after a battle with cancer.

Sister Mary Ann, 68, had stepped down last summer from her role of 21 years in media relations for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the last six years as director. Just as she began a transition to a new job she quickly came to love — writing for America Magazine as the Jesuit publication’s U.S. church correspondent — she learned that she had fast-growing metastatic cancer and moved home to the motherhouse in Albany where she had entered the Sisters of Mercy 50 years earlier.

Over the next nine months as her health declined, Sister Mary Ann wrote obliquely about her own impending death, such as in a piece about the “underutilized sacrament of anointing of the sick,” shortly after she hosted a gathering of friends as she received the sacrament herself.

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