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The Message
Evansville, Indiana
August 26, 1994     The Message
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August 26, 1994

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S SAGI00 mm nm .,.,. Bishop Francis R. Sh_ea dies August 18 i rMARYANNHUGHES ,l,i-,--,,,-- ---- -- mm,--- Message staff writer  hen Bishop Francis R. was asked about funeral mrations, he had one re- He wanted to be buried his "brother priests" in Cemetery in Evans- le, and he rejected any ughts of a final resting ce in a special place of or. Lat request was granted on thgust 22 as the third bishop the Diocese of Evansville r|s buried in the last plot in priests' circle at St. Joseph |lnetery. .,t his burial Monday, the on tired bishop was given a al farewell from over 60 |ily members who had trav- d from several Southern tes, from members of the [rarchy of the Catholic iurch, and from priests, dea- [s, religious and laity from lUnd the diocese. [Uishop Shea died August 18 la heart attack at St. Mary s )ical Center, Evansville. '[e 80-year-old diocesan [der had been recuperating hip replacement surgery ['May. He had served as lhop of the diocese from 0 until his retirement in 9. ?s funeral was held August = at St. Benedict Church, |ansville The Mass was at- fled by over 900 people, in- Dfling about 100 priests of , ml t Diocese of Evansville. t rchbishop Daniel Buech- , , O.S.B., of Indianapolis [Jla the main celebrant, and llhop Gerald A. Gettelfinger, [tl bishop of Evansville, de- d the homily. At the altar [h Archbishop Buechlein Bishop Gettelfinger was [lhop William L Higi of the Cese of Lafayette. [ii'ae funeral Mass was cele- [Itted in the presence of Car- I Joseph L. Bernardin, hbishop of Chicago, the est ranking prelate in the itited States. The celebrants e Mass were selected ac- WKag to Church protocol. iae midwestern bishops  the archabbot from St. [qttrad Archabbey also par- ted in the funeral liturgy.  included retired Bishop Ph Crowley, retired aflp William MacManus, tishop John M. D'Arcy, all e Diocese of Fort Wayne- L[_  Bend; Bishop Dale J. ltek, Apostolic Adminis- m, i of the Diocese of Gary; Anthony J. O'Connell . Diocese of Knoxville; re- Bishop James D. .Qrgeses and Bishop Ed- ! LI. Kmiec, both of the of Nashville; retired Bishop GeraldA. Gettolflnger sprinkles holy water on the euket eonta Shea, third bishop of the Diocese of Evansville. Service for Bishop Shea, 22 at St. Benedict Church, Evansville, with burial in the Bishop Charles G. Maloney of the Diocese of Louisville; Bishop Wilton D. Gregory of the Diocese of Belleville, Illinois, and Arch- abbot Timothy Sweeney, O.S.B:, of St. Meinrad. Deacon David Franklin pro- claimed the Gospel and as- sisted as deacon at the altar. Deanna Ruston, Bishop Shea's secretary at the time of his re- tirement and currently secre- tary for Bishop Gettelfinger, proclaimed the first reading at the Mass; John Shea, a grand- nephew, proclaimed the second reading. During the Office of the Dead, which preceded the fu- neral Mass, Justin Clements, diocesan Director of Steward- ship and Development, read a passage from Scripture. Dea- con Thomas Holsworth of Jasper led.the prayers of inter- cession. A choir of music ministers from throughout the diocese, under the direction of Tony Buccili of Evanslle, provided music and led the congrega- tional singing at the service. Kristan Kautzmann and Cyndi Bickel were the organists. Seminarians of the Diocese of Evansville served the Mass. Members of Bishop Shea's family brought up the gifts at the Mass. The bishop's nephews served as pall bearers. During the homily, Bishop Gettelfinger compared Bishop Shea's pastoral work to the image of the Good Shepherd, "the image of lying down to protect his sheep." "He was called to serve this Church. He could have said no, but he said yes. He laid down his life for the sheep, the peo- ple, of Evansville." Bishop Gettelfinger recalled Bishop Shea as a man who was "glad" about who he was: about being called to the priesthood, about his work as a principal and his service as bishop, and about "being called to this Church to be pastor. "That's the lesson," Bishop Gettelfinger said. "Be glad for who you are and what you are called to live." At the beginning of his homily, Bishop Gettelfinger read a telegram from Cardinal Angelo Sodano, Vatican Secre- tary of State. The message ex- tended "heartfelt condolences to you and to the faithful of the Diocese of Evansville  from Pope John Paul II and recalled "with gratitude the late bishop's devoted and generous service to God's people." At the conclusion of the Mass, Archbishop Buechlein recalled Bishop's Shea's words about kindness to others. =He said people will forgive you for a lot of things, but they will not forgive someone who is un- kind." Bishop Shea is survived by a sister, Helen Shea Sheridan, a resident of St. John's Home for the Aged in Evansville. He was born December 4, 1913, in Knoxville, Tennessee, the youngest of the seven chil- dren of John F. and Harriet (Holford) Shea. ARer studies at St. Charles College and St. Mary's Semi- nary, both in Baltimore, and Gregorian University, Rome, Italy, he was ordained a priest in Rome, March 19, 1939. His early assignments in the Diocese of Nashville, which at that time included the entire state of Tennessee, included parish and teaching positions in Memphis, Nashville and Knoxville. He helped establish Mem- phis Catholic High School for Boys. He served as principal of Father Ryan High School, Nashville, from 1945 to 1956, and as administrator of Knoxville Catholic High School from 1956 to 1969. He was named Bishop of Evansville on Dec. 10, 1969, and ordained and installed Feb. 3, 1970 at St. Benedict Church. His service to the Church in- cluded membership on the board of the Indiana Catholic Conference, vice-president of the Indiana Interreligious Commission on Human Equal- ity, membership on the board of trustees of Gibault High School in Terre Haute and membership on the develop- ment council at Marian Heights Academy, Ferdinand. He was also a member of the medical-moral committee of the board of directors at St. Mary's Medical Center in Evansville. He served as a member of the administrative committee of the National Council of Catholic Bishops, as a member of the administra- tive board for the United States Catholic Conference, and as a member of the priestly life and ministry com- mittee and the vocations corn-" mittee of the NCCB. In 1983, Bishop Shea was awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from Indiana State University at Evansville (now University of Southern Indiana) and he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Vin- cennes in 1988.