Fr. James R. Shea, SJ
There are not words to express my gratitude to everyone who took me as I was and with patience and care showed me the way forward.
Fr. James R. Shea, SJ

Father James R. Shea, SJ, 42, was born near Chicago and raised with his brother by their parents, Ruth (Wooster) and Richard Shea, in Skokie, Ill. His faith was strongly influenced by his mother, a cradle Catholic, and father, a Catholic convert. After graduating from Skokie’s Niles North High School, he obtained a bachelor’s degree in English from Loyola University Chicago. There, he sought out courses taught by Jesuits, despite warnings about their tough grading and the heavy workload they assigned. These Jesuits he met in college sowed the seed of his vocation. After graduating, Fr. Shea spent a year living in community and volunteering with the Passionists at a social service agency for people with HIV/AIDS in Detroit. Later he worked in Chicago with Misericordia, a home for people with developmental and physical disabilities. Discernment of the priesthood led him back to the Jesuits, and he entered the Society in 2004.

Father Shea received a master’s degree in philosophy from Loyola University Chicago and a Master of Divinity degree from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. His time as a Jesuit has also involved teaching English and helping with Kairos retreats at Cristo Rey Jesuit High School in Chicago and serving as a deacon and confirmation class teacher at Blessed Mother Teresa Parish in Dorchester, Mass. He will continue theology studies at Boston College.

I have experienced God’s love and care through so many people who have touched my life. That love began with my family, who have loved me and sustained me from the first day of my life. It has continued with my friends, who accepted me as I was and loved me anyway. God’s guidance was also given to me through so many good teachers, especially Jesuit teachers at Loyola University Chicago, who nurtured my vocation.

I am especially grateful for the love and care that has accompanied me throughout my formation as a Jesuit. There are not words to express my gratitude to everyone who took me as I was and with patience and care showed me the way forward. I have been thanking God for all of you in my prayers, and I hope those prayers for you will only continue as I enter into the priesthood!

Recent News

August 21, 2018 — Pope Francis has responded to new reports of clerical sexual abuse and the ecclesial cover-up of abuse. In an impassioned letter addressed to the whole People of God, he calls on the Church to be close to victims in solidarity, and to join in acts of prayer and fasting in penance for such "atrocities".

September 12, 2018 — Loyola High School is celebrating its 25th anniversary educating “men for others” in Detroit.

September 10, 2018 — Today, U.S. News & World Report released its annual rankings of the best U.S. colleges, and all six Midwest Jesuit universities were featured prominently on the list.

September 4, 2018 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Father Robert J. Welsh, SJ, who died at 9:15 a.m. (EDT) on Thursday, August 30, 2018, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Mich. He was 82 years old. May he rest in peace.

August 29, 2018 — For most of his life, Fr. Kevin Embach, SJ, had two desires: to practice medicine and to serve God.

August 27, 2018 — Twenty-six Jesuit novices in Canada and the United States, including seven men from the Midwest Jesuits, professed first vows of poverty, chastity and obedience this month.

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Charis Ministries
Founded in 2000, Charis Ministries reaches those in their 20s and 30s throughout the country, nurturing their faith through retreats based in Ignatian spirituality.