Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

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Fr.-Lewis-Mary-SheaKISUMU, Kenya – Father Lewis Mary Shea, a missionary of the Dominican Order of Preachers, died of cancer at age 82 on Feb. 9, 2010, at the hospice house of the Hawthorne Dominican Sisters in Kisumu.

William Francis Shea was the fourth child of seven children of Mabel Lewis Shea and Thomas Francis Shea of Hartford. The family was active in the parish of St. Augustine and the Hartford community. Father Lewis attended Bulkeley High School and then entered the Dominican Novitiate at St. Thomas Aquinas Priory, River Forest, Ill. He completed his studies at St. Thomas and at St. Rose Priory in Dubuque, Iowa.

He was ordained to the priesthood on May 22, 1952. His first year was served in parishes in Louisiana at Ponchatoula and then at St. Anthony’s in New Orleans.

Father Shea began his mission life in Nigeria in 1953 and had served in Africa for more than 56 years. He served in Nigeria for 38 years in a variety of assignments before being transferred to Kisumu in 1991, where he ministered for 18 years until his death.

In Kisumu, Father Shea focused on counseling and finance, especially the financial health of the local community.

The Dominican community of St. Martin de Porres in Kisumu is the home of the Dominican novitiate that provides formation to men discerning a vocation to that order. The Dominicans there also provide much needed outreach to the poor, especially orphan children.

Father Shea was predeceased by his brothers, Father Thomas W. and John R. Shea; and a sister, Virginia Cochrane Shea. Survivors include a brother, Dr. James E. Shea; and three sisters, Mary Shea Boyle, Kathleen Shea Rabke and Pilar Albiach Shea; and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, great-grandnieces and great-grandnephews, and cousins.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Feb. 20 in Kisumu, where burial followed.

Donations in Father Shea’s name may be sent to: Dominican Friars Kisumu, c/o Dominican Mission Secretariate, 141 East 65th St., New York, NY 10065-6607.


alertAt the Spring Assembly of the U.S. bishops, Cardinal Joseph Tobin suggested that a delegation ofbishops go to the border to see for themselves what was happening to newly arrived immigrants, families and children. On July 1 and 2, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, president of the U.S. bishops conference, and five other bishops conducted a pastoral visit to the diocese of Brownsville, Texas. Stops included Mass at the Shrine of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle with the community, a visit to anHHS/OBR Shelter and Mass for the families there, a visit to the Customs and Border Patrol processing center in McAllen, TX, and a press conference at the end of their visit. Catholic News Service accompanied the bishops on their border trip. 

  1. Backgrounder and analysis of the bishops’ trip to the border: Cardinal DiNardo told CNS, “You cannot look at immigration as an abstraction when you meet” the people behind the issue.
  2. At final press conference, Cardinal Daniel Dinardo said the church was willing to be part of any conversation to find humane solutions because even a policy of detaining families together in facilities caused “concern.”
  3. Bishops serve soup to immigrant families at a center run by Catholic Charities and listen to their stories. Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera said he found hope in hearing the people in the room talk about what’s ahead. They didn’t speak of making money but of finding safety for their children, he said, driven by “the most basic instinct to protect your family.”
  4. At an opening Mass he Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle-National Shrine near McAllen, Texas, Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville told Massgoers, “The bishops are visiting here so they can stop and look and talk to people and understand, especially the suffering of many who are amongst us,”

A delegation of U.S. bishops goes on a fact-finding mission at the U.S.-Mexican border to learn more about Central American immigration detention.

Following their visit to an immigrant detention center, U.S. bishops said they are even more determined to call on Congress for comprehensive immigration reform.