Longtime CJAD 800 host Fr. John Walsh receives Order of Canada

Fr. John Walsh, a Montreal Catholic priest and longtime favorite at CJAD 800, was formally named to the Order of Canada in a ceremony at Rideau Hall on Friday.

"Father John Emmett Walsh has been devoted to serving his community for more than 50 years," an official statement from the Governor-General's office reads. "He displays a profound ability to forge ties and dialogue between faith communities. On the airwaves and through printed and electronic media, he brings people together, fosters exchanges, and promotes understanding and reconciliation.

"A tireless supporter of various causes, he advocates for the homeless through the Nazareth Community and is the co-founder of the PROCURE Walk of Courage, which raises awareness of and funds for the fight against prostate cancer."

Fr. Walsh found out he was being honored a little over a year ago, in December 2017, when the office of Governor-General Julie Payette gave him a call — and asked him to keep that information under his hat until the office made the honor public a few weeks later.

Members of the Order of Canada are able to tack on the post-nominal C.M. to the end of their names, and they receive lapel pins and a six-pointed medal bearing a stylized maple leaf and the order's Latin motto: Desiderantes Meliorem Patriam ('They desire a better country').

Well-known Calgary singer Jann Arden was also among the 35 people honored at Rideau Hall Friday.