Rev. Bernard J. “Bud” Welch

BRUNSWICK/HARPSWELL – Reverend Bernard J. “Bud” Welch, 89, four days shy of his 90th birthday, of Brunswick and Harpswell, passed away on May 14, 2024, at Horizon’s Living and Rehabilitation Center.

Fr. Welch was born May 18, 1934, in Portland. He was the son of Margaret Mary (O’Donnell) Welch Woods and stepson of Owen Francis Woods. He attended St. Louis’ Home for the boys in Scarborough, Saint Dominic’s Grammar School in Portland and was a 1952 graduate of Cheverus High School. Fr. Welch received his bachelor’s degree in history and government from the University of Maine in 1961, and a master’s degree in Legislative Affairs from the George Washington University in Washington, D.C. and a Master of Divinity Degree from the Pope Saint John XXIII Seminary in Weston, Mass.

In 1961 Fr. Welch worked at the Central Intelligence Agency as an Analyst, at Pan American World Airways as the manager of Public Affairs and with the United States Secretary of Transportation as his aviation Congressional Relations Officer, all these work positions were located in Washington, D.C. Fr. Welch entered the seminary where he was ordained a Priest for the Diocese of Portland, in 1981. His priestly assignments were at St. Joseph Parish in Lewiston, The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland, Holy Rosary Parish in Caribou, where he also served as a contract Chaplain at Loring Air Force Base, and served as Pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Lubec, where he also served at Saint Timothy Parish, Campobello Island, Canada. Fr. Welch retired after 28 years of active and reserve military service in the United States Air Force, Navy and Coast Guard.

Fr. Welch is survived by two stepbrothers Owen Francis Woods, II of Portland and James Edward Woods of South Portland, two stepsisters Catherine Ann (Woods) Bean and Margaret Mary (Woods) Viola both of South Portland. His devoted and loyal friends John and Saundra Bouchard, Pat and Gary Cornwell.

There will be a reception of the body and evening prayer for Fr. Welch on Tuesday, May 28, 2024, at 4 p.m., in St. John the Baptist Church- All Saints Parish, 39 Pleasant Street, Brunswick, Rev. Philip Tracy presiding. Fr. Welch’s visitation will continue till 7 p.m., in the church. A concelebrated Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Wednesday, May 29, 2024, at 10 a.m., in St. John the Baptist Church, Most Reverend James Ruggieri, Bishop of Portland, principal celebrant. Burial will follow with military honors at St. John the Baptist Cemetery, Brunswick.

Arrangements are in the care of the Stetson’s Funeral Home, 12 Federal Street, Brunswick, where condolences, memories, and photos may be shared with the family on the obituary page of the funeral home website

In lieu of flowers donations in Fr. Welch’s memory may be made to

All Saints Parish

144 Lincoln Street

Bath, Maine, 04530