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

July 12, 2018 — “A Jesuit never retires, but their ministry changes as they age,” explains Fr. Robert Scullin, SJ, superior of the Colombiere Jesuit Community.

July 2, 2018 — Fr. Kyle Shinseki, SJ, celebrated his first public Mass at Immaculate Conception Church in Lihue, Kauai, on June 17.

June 22, 2018 — A passionate, committed leader is sought by the board of directors of Red Cloud to guide a wide range of institutional efforts to empower Oglala Lakota youth, families, and community members through culturally-relevant education, arts-based programming, and spiritual formation.

June 21, 2018 — Pat Lofton, 52, principal of St. Thomas More Catholic School in St. Paul, received the National Catholic Board on Full Inclusion’s Dandy Award last month.

June 19, 2018 — The Midwest Jesuits placed in seven different categories at the 2018 Catholic Press Association Awards, including four first-place wins.

June 18, 2018 — Nearly 600 U.S. Catholic organizations declared that they are “still in” to support the Paris Agreement.

June 18, 2018 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. George R. Menke, SJ, who was called to eternal life on June 15, 2018. George died at the Brebeuf Jesuit Community in Indianapolis. He was 75 years old, a Jesuit for fifty-seven years, and a priest for over forty years.

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