John F. Shea, SJ
John F. Shea, SJ

John F. Shea, SJ, 39, grew up just outside Cleveland in the suburb of Willowick. A product of Catholic education, Shea attended grammar school at St. Mary Magdalene, high school at Cleveland Benedictine and college at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio. Shea’s time at John Carroll was important not only because he was pursuing his passion for biology but because he was growing in his understanding of the Jesuits, particularly through an impactful eight-day silent retreat in his senior year. Armed with a bachelor’s degree in biology, he headed to The Ohio State University, where he earned a doctorate in evolutionary biology. Active in Ohio State’s Newman Center, Shea worked with the young adult group and began to discern a vocation to the Jesuits. Three days after handing in his dissertation in 2003, he entered the Society of Jesus. As a novice, Shea worked with refugee families in San Jose, California, through Catholic Charities and was next missioned to Loyola University Chicago, where he earned a master’s degree in applied philosophy. For his three-year regency assignment, Shea taught biology and conducted parasitological research at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington. At the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California, Shea earned a Master of Divinity degree while serving as a deacon at the Newman Center at the University of California, Berkeley. As a good number of Berkeley students are studying science, Shea has enjoyed connecting with them on issues surrounding the intersection of faith and science. In addition to his work at Berkeley, Shea serves as part of the ministerial team at the Apostleship of the Sea, a Catholic ministry operated out of the Port of Oakland, California, one of the nation’s busiest ports. After ordination, Shea will spend the summer at St. Isaac Jogues Church in Rapid City, South Dakota, before heading to Omaha, Nebraska, to begin a teaching position this fall at Creighton University. (Chicago-Detroit Province) 

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Located 80 miles north of Milwaukee, the Jesuit Retreat House on Lake Winnebago welcomes men and women of all faiths to its silent preached and directed retreats.