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Evansville, Indiana
November 18, 1988     The Message
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November 18, 1988

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I I III I1! III I Bishop Francis R. Shea Education, pastoral work, years of church and community service l Francis Raymond Shea was born December 4, 1913, in Knoxville, Tennessee. He is the youngest of seven children, the son of John F. and Harriet (Holford) Shea. He was baptized at Holy Ghost Church, Knoxville. He attended Holy Ghost Elementary School, Knoxville. He earned a bachelor's degree at St. Charles College, Baltimore, Maryland, then continued his preparation for the priesthood at St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore. He was awarded a bachelor's degree in sacred theology from Gregorian University, Rome, Italy, which he attended while residing at North American College. He was ordained in Rome March 19, 1939, and returned to his home diocese of Nashville, which included all of Tennessee. His first priestly assignment was as assistant pastor at St. Thomas Church, Memphis, in 1939. In 1940, he joined the staff which opened Christian Brothers Junior College, Memphis. Father Shea earned a master's degree in English from Peabody College, Nashville, in 1942, after completing the required coursework during three summer school sessions. He was appointed assistant pastor of Immaculate Conception Church, Memphis, in August 1942. He joined the faculty of Siena College, Memphis, in 1943; he was also named assistant pastor of Sacred Heart Church, also in Memphis. Father Shea helped establish Memphis Catholic High School for Boys in 1945; that same year he was assigned as principal of Father. Ryan High School, Nashville, where he remained 13 years. During the Nashville years, Father Shea was also appointed pastor of St. Rose of Lima Church, Murfreesboro (1945) and St. Stephen Church, Old Hickory (1948). In 1956, Father Shea returned to Knoxville, the city of his birth, as pastor of Immaculate Conception Church and administrator of Knoxville Catholic High School -- positions he held until 1969. He was created a domestic prelate, April 26, 1967. Rt. Rev. Msgr. Francis Shea was named bishop of Evansville, December 10, 1969; he was ordained and installed as the third bishop of Evansville, February 3, 1970. His 19 years of service to the Church in Southwestern Indiana have included the following: member of the board of directors, Indiana Catholic Conference; vicepresident, Indiana Interreligious Commission on Human Equality; member of the board of trustees, Gibault High School, Terre Haute; member of the development council, Marian Heights Academy, Ferdinand; member of the medical-moral committee of the board of directors, St. Mary Medical Center, Evansville; member of the adminstrative committee, National Council of Catholic Bishops; member of the administrative board, United States Catholic Conference; member of the priestly life and ministry committee, NCCB, and member of the vocations committee, NCCB. Community involvement has included participation in muscular dystrophy telethons, pro life activities, anti- pornography organizations, the Serra Club, Knights of Columbus, Legion of Mary, Cursillo, St. Vincent de Paul Society, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Spanish speaking apostolate and ministry of the hearing impaired. Bishop Shea was awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from Indiana State University at Evansville, in 1983. He was awarded anhonorary doctorate from the University of Vincennes, in 1988. Bishop Shea was named a "Sagamore of the Wabash" by Indiana Governor Robert Orr, October 24, 1988. The title is derived from an Americar Indian term for a person to whom a chief would turn for wisdom and advice; the award is the highest honor the governor can bestow. BISHOP FRANCIS R. SHEA From The Students And Staff Of Precious Blood School Jasper I I I I III !