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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

March 11, 2019 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. M. Joseph Casey, S.J., who died at 11:17 p.m. (EST) on March 8, 2019, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan. He was 82 years old. May he rest in peace.

March 6, 2019 — Today is Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of Lent. The Ignatian family offers a wide array of resources to guide you through the next 40 days.

March 4, 2019 — We invite you to join us in praying the Novena of Grace of Saint Francis Xavier (March 4-12).

February 28, 2019 — John Carroll University announced that an anonymous graduate has made a $20 million unrestricted pledge to the institution.

February 21, 2019 — Creighton University will become the first Midwest Jesuit university to adopt test-optional admission for freshman applicants.

February 14, 2019 — Let us pray in thanksgiving for the life of Fr. Daniel L. Flaherty, SJ, who died at 2:20 p.m. (EST) on February 13, 2019, at Colombiere Center in Clarkston, Michigan. He was 89 years old. Dan was provincial of the Chicago Province from 1973-1979. May he rest in peace.

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The Jesuit Spiritual Center at Milford spreads over 37 park-like acres overlooking the Little Miami River, 30 minutes east of Cincinnati.