O’Shea, Father William J.

1989, January 10

Date of Birth: 1913, July 3

Summer 1989

Father William James O’Shea, fondly remembered by many seminarians from Roland Park, died January 10 in Wing Memorial Hospital, Palmer. He had been afflicted with cancer for some time.

An alumnus of Providence College, the University of Ottawa, and St. Mary’s, he was ordained for the Diocese of Springfield July 11, 1938, and released to the Sulpicians.

After ordination, he was appointed to St. Charles College, where he completed Solitude and was admitted to the Society of St. Sulpice in 1939. In 1940 he was assigned for studies to Roland Park and The Catholic University, W.D.C., and was awarded the S.T.D. by Roland Park in 1942. He was assigned to Roland Park that same year to teach liturgy, Church history, and archaeology, and to serve, from 1948 to 1958, as librarian. While on the Roland Park faculty, he wrote his well-known The Worship of the Church and in 1961 taught part-time at The Catholic University. In 1963, he was appointed to Theological College where he taught sacramental theology in the School of Theology. In May of 1969, he returned to the Diocese of Springfield and was shortly appointed pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Church, Lenoxdale. He continued his Sulpician affiliation until 1979.

After his Lenoxdale appointment, he was pastor of Sacred Heart, Holyoke, chaplain of the Sisters of St. Joseph, and, from 1977 until his death, pastor of St. Mary’s Church, Thorndike. It was there he recently celebrated his golden jubilee of ordination to the priesthood.

Meanwhile, as he fought off the onslaughts of cancer, he taught summers since 1964 at St. Michael’s College, Winooski, and wrote several articles and books, chiefly on liturgy and sacramental theology: New Catholic Encyclopedia and The Meaning of Holy Week and Sacramental Initiation: Baptism, Penance, and Eucharist.

Enlarged from St Mary’s Seminary Alumni Bulletin, Summer 1989.

No Memorial Card is Available