Catholic Transcript Magazine of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Hartford Connecticut

Monday, February 19, 2018

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.