Paul J. Shelton, SJ
Paul J. Shelton, SJ

Paul J. Shelton, SJ, 33, is a native of Columbus, Ohio, where he attended St. Mary German Village Catholic grammar school and St. Charles Preparatory High School. The Shelton family, headed by Sandy, a single mother, went through periods of financial hardship, but there were many blessings along the way as friends and neighbors were quick to lend a hand. Growing up, Shelton saw God at work in the people who helped the family through the hard times, and the fatherless boy began to consider a vocation to the priesthood because of the tremendous example and support of the priests in his parish. At Marquette University in Milwaukee, Shelton studied history and classical languages and, importantly, met the Jesuits for the first time. He started attending daily Mass, was active in community service and traveled to Haiti, where, like St. Ignatius, he had a cannonball moment regarding his call to the priesthood, though Shelton’s was brought on by malaria and not an actual cannonball. After graduating from Marquette in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree, he entered the Society of Jesus. Following the novitiate, Shelton was missioned to Loyola University Chicago, where he earned a master’s degree in social philosophy. For his three-year regency assignment, he taught theology and Latin at Marquette University High School while also coaching cross-country and basketball and working with student government. Missioned next to the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry, he earned both a Master of Divinity degree and a Licentiate in Sacred Theology while serving as a deacon at St. Katharine Drexel Parish in Roxbury, Massachusetts. Last summer, Shelton traveled to Bolivia for intensive Spanish language studies, and this summer he will continue his language instruction in Mexico. Starting this fall he will be missioned to St. Procopius Church, which serves a predominately Mexican-American congregation in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. (Wisconsin Province) 

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