"The Blessed Virgin Mary Called Me"
By Fr. John Paul Shea
I can remember really enjoying church and learning about Jesus as a child. However, during my teenage years I began to doubt the Mormon teachings and lost my desire to learn about religion. I stopped going to church and practiced no religion for several years. Like many teenagers today, I had adopted an attitude that fun and entertainment was more important than learning about God. I converted to the Catholic Church through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
|Fr. John Paul Shea dressing for ordination|
I had an instant attraction to her and soon bought a Rosary. After praying the Rosary for
a couple of years, I knew that God was calling me to become Catholic. I came into the church in 1998 after receiving Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Communion and my dad, whom I adopted, came back to the Catholic Church and went to confession. He died about a year later.
When did you first think about becoming a
|John Paul Shea Ordained by Tucson |
Bishop Gerald Kicanas in 2013
Did you have a priest you looked up to in your youth?
|On the left: John Paul Shea before ordination |
led by Fr. Domenico Pinti his pastor
St. George of Apache Junction
|Fr. John Paul Shea right|
after his ordination
We often use this photo
with his sermons
What is your greatest joy as you contemplate the priesthood? I think my greatest joy is that, as a priest, I will serve the church in the person of Christ. I can be a special part of the lives of many individuals, and I can allow God to use me to my fullest potential. As a priest I will be free to serve everyone. I find joy knowing that as a priest I can become the person who God has called me to be. I can fully give myself to God in the service of our church.
What do you tell someone who is considering the priesthood? I suggest for anyone who is considering the priesthood to seriously consider entering the seminary. The seminary is a wonderful place for one to learn about himself and get closer to God. The seminary is a time of discernment. One would have nothing to lose by entering the seminary but would have much to gain. I have spoken with many men who have entered the seminary and later decided that God was calling them to a vocation of marriage. The time they spent in the seminary helped them to become a better husband in their marriage. Men who enter the seminary and become priests find much joy because they are fulfilling God's call.
Do you have a favorite devotion? My favorite devotion is the Rosary. I prayed the Rosary before I became Catholic, and it will always be part of my daily prayers. I also pray the Chaplet of Divine Mercy each day. I believe that prayer is very important for my
The Arms of God
How do you relax? I like to go driving to my favorite stores on a Saturday afternoon. I also have my favorite restaurants that I enjoy. When the weather is nice, I enjoy riding a bike. I love to exercise and run. When I get the chance, I like to ride the train to downtown Chicago. Every once in a while I like to go see a movie at the theater or relax with a movie in my room. Every Wednesday night I get together with the seminarians on my hallway to talk, watch a movie, or go out to eat. I also get together with the other guys from my diocese once a week to pray and eat together. Right next to our seminary there is a shrine called Marytown. I enjoy going there!
Describe a good day at the seminary. I think that every day is a good day at the seminary. I have better days than others, but each day is filled with many graces. God is present everywhere at the seminary. We have Mass every day, I get to hear wonderful lectures from great teachers, and I have a chapel near my room that I can pray in.
Finish this sentence: "It would surprise people to know… I fought some amateur boxing matches in my earlier days.
This is Fr. John Paul Shea's most recent sermon: MARK'S GOSPEL: The Power and Authority of Our Lord Jesus Christ!