Meet China's Last American Bishop

The Chinese prison guards allowed William Walsh to give his brother James candy, cookies, family photos and a box of cigars. A golden rosary was forbidden, however, so the devout James would continue counting prayers on his fingers. “When I told him that unless he got out we wouldn’t see each other again, James said, ‘We will meet each other in heaven,’ ” William recalled on his way back to the United States.

James E. Walsh was the last American bishop to serve in China, incarcerated during the early years of the People’s Republic. He would live to see both American soil and his brother William again, but only after nearly 12 years in a Shanghai prison.

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