Jesuit Priest served parishioners at St. Mary’s Church

Published in the September 2, 2016 edition

Rev.-Bernard-Shea-obit-webMELROSE — Rev. Bernard J. Shea, 99, passed away on Aug. 28, 2016 in Quincy.

Fr. Shea was born in Halifax, Nova Scotia. on June 1, 1917 to William Shea and Helen Brown. He was the brother of the late Joseph, John and Evelyn Shea. He was the uncle of Joseph Shea of West Roxbury; Joanne White, Susan Shea, Christine Shea and Maryellen Shea, all of Quincy; Ruth Cedrone of Stoughton; and John Shea of North Carolina. He is also survived by many grandnieces, a grandnephew and friends.

Fr. Shea was a graduate of Boston College, Weston School of Theology and earned a master of Education from Boston University. Following his ordination in 1951, he went on to serve in various capacities in Jamaica, West Indies including parish administrator, rehabilitation counselor and instructor, as well as professor of ethics at St. Joseph Training College. He went on to be assistant headmaster and math teacher at St. George College in Kingston, Jamaica, before returning to the States.

Between 1962 and 1971, Fr. Shea applied himself to many roles within the education system including administrator positions, guidance counselor, dean of discipline and director of athletics at Boston College High School.

Always a humanitarian, Fr. Shea helped raise funds and devoted many hours to build homes in Jamaica for those who so desperately needed them. He served faithfully as a Jesuit priest up until the day he retired, including serving the parishioners at St. Mary’s Church in Melrose for many years. He will be remembered for giving selflessly of himself, not only to the church, but to individuals, groups, parishes and communities alike. His endearment for Prospect N.S. will always be his most valued and treasured love and his devotion spiritually to it will never be forgotten. He will be forever in our hearts and our prayers.

Visitation will be held at the Gately Funeral Home, 79 West Foster St., Melrose on Friday, Sept. 2, 2016 from 8:30-10 a.m., followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Mary Church, Herbert Street, Melrose at 10:30 a.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend. Interment at Holy Cross Cemetery in Malden will follow. To send a message of condolence, please visit