About Sister Julia

Julia Walsh grew up on a goat farm in a small community in Northeast Iowa with her parents, Kevin and Elsie, and three siblings. As a child, she enjoyed gardening, reading, and spending time in the woods. She attended college in Iowa, starting at Wartburg College in Waverly, then ultimately transferring to Loras College to discern her vocation. While a student at Loras, Julia studied abroad in South Africa and realized her passion for social justice, equality and Gospel living. In 2003 she graduated from Loras College magna cum laude with a BA in History, Secondary Education and Catholic Studies. After graduation Julia interned with the Iowa Catholic Conference in Des Moines, Iowa, and then moved to California and joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. As a Jesuit Volunteer, Julia worked with young parents and their children transitioning from homelessness to self-sufficiency at Tubman House in Sacramento, California. Her experiences in South Africa, as an intern with the Iowa Catholic Conference and in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps helped her to develop her passions for Gospel-centered systemic change.

Then, in 2006 Julia entered the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration, (FSPA) based in La Crosse, Wisconsin. She entered the novitiate and received the name Sister in 2007. She professed first vows in 2009 and perpetual vows in 2015.

Sister Julia began her teaching ministry at Catholic high schools in Chicago where she lived and served from 2008 to 2012. In 2012, Sister Julia moved to La Crosse, Wisconsin to be closer to her community’s motherhouse and minister at Aquinas High School, where she served as a theology teacher until 2016.

In the fall of 2016, Sister Julia joined the staff of Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center on Trout Lake in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, where she presents programs and retreats and serves as a freelance writer. In August 2017, Sister Julia graduated from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago with a Master of Arts in Pastoral Studies.

In addition to teaching, activism, and writing, Sister Julia enjoys good movies, gardening, art, cooking, traveling and spending time with her community, family and friends. On a sunny day in Wisconsin, she can be found taking hikes in the woods and writing poetry about her relationship with God.

Click here for a list of Sister Julia’s publications and a list of some media that features Sister Julia.


Sister Julia may be reached through St. Rose Convent:

Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration

912 Market Street
La Crosse, WI 54601
Phone: 608-782-5610
Fax: 608-782-6301

Email: jwalsh @ fspa. org

7 thoughts

  1. I found your latest blog caused a paradigm shift in me…I am 68 years old and have spent my whole life wishing I was someone else…ANYONE else! I’ve wasted my life in fantasy fiction to escape reality. I don’t know if I can fully accept that I am in the right reality but I’m going to try!

    1. Wow! My prayers are with you as you grow in self acceptance. Whew, by the grace of God we all shall know the total goodness in our lives each day. Peace!

  2. I heard you today on the Unorthodox podcast and you were WONDERFUL! I was so taken by your story and your ministry that I found your blog 🙂 Thank you for sharing your inspiring story, your enthusiasm and your love with all of us!

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