The Reverend Robert F. Shea, 85, died Easter Sunday, March 31, 2013 in Southern Pines, NC. He was born in Lowell, Massachusetts on June 14, 1927 to the late John F. Shea and Cecile Marie Grondin. Father Shea was also preceded in death by his two siblings, Edward Shea and Theresa Cerilli.
After discerning a vocation to the Priesthood, he entered Saint John’s Home Missions Seminary in Little Rock, Arkansas for studies in Philosophy, Theology and for priestly formation. Father Shea was ordained a Catholic Priest for the Diocese of Raleigh at Sacred Heart Cathedral by the Most Reverend Vincent S. Waters on May 19, 1955. During his priestly life, Father Shea served in many parishes throughout North Carolina, when the Diocese of Raleigh comprised the entire State. His assignments to priestly ministry included the following: the Missionary Apostolate at Our Lady of Guadalupe, Newton Grove; Saint Mary, Goldsboro; Saint Ann, Smithfield; Saint John the Baptist, Tryon; Our Lady of Lourdes, Monroe; Holy Rosary, Lexington; Saint Francis of Assisi, Lenoir; Holy Trinity and Our Lady of Atonement, Kinston; Immaculate Conception, Durham; Saint Mary, Wilmington; Saint Luke the Evangelist, Raleigh; and Saint John the Baptist, Roanoke Rapids, from where he retired in the year 2000.
Following retirement, Father Shea continued to generously serve many parishes in priestly ministry, including Saint Anthony of Padua, Southern Pines; Sacred Heart, Pinehurst; as well as the community at Saint Joseph of the Pines. Father Shea additionally served as Diocesan Director of the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) and Vicar Forane (Dean) for the Cape Fear Deanery and also the Raleigh Deanery.
Visitation will be held at Saint Anthony of Padua Catholic Church, 160 E. Vermont Avenue, Southern Pines on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 beginning at 5:00 p.m. with the Vigil for the Deceased prayed at 6:30 p.m., the Reverend Monsignor Jeffrey A. Ingham, V.F., Presiding. The Visitation will then conclude at 7:00 p.m.
The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, April 4, 2013 at Saint Anthony Catholic Church, with the Most Reverend Michael F. Burbidge, Principal Celebrant, the Reverend Joseph G. Vetter, Homilist and Diocesan and Religious Priests as Concelebrants for the Mass. Interment will follow immediately at Saint Anthony of Padua Cemetery, located at 2922 Camp Easter Road, Southern Pines.
Online condolences may be made at www.bolesfuneralhome.com
Boles Funeral Home of Southern Pines is serving the family.