Shea, originally from Hazelton,ND, assumed the presidency of the University of Mary on July 1, 2009. He began his undergraduate work at Jamestown College, majoring in English and history, and then entered the seminary for the Diocese of Bismarck, earning a bachelor's degree and a master's degree/pontifical licentiate in philosophy at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. He continued at the North American College at the Vatican,studying theology at the Gregorian and Lateran universities in Rome.
Shea has worked with Mother Teresa's Missionaries of Charity at the Gift of Peace AIDS Hospice and taught religion at two inner-city elementary schools in Washington, D.C., and in Rome served as chaplain at Bambino Gesł Children's Hospital.
Following his ordination, Shea was an associate pastor in Bismarck and Mandan, ND. During that time, he was also the chaplain and an instructor at St. Mary's Central High School in Bismarck. Most recently, he served as pastor to parishes in Killdeer and Halliday, ND, and taught at Trinity High School in Dickinson, ND.
Deeply committed to Catholic education, he has been an inspirational teacher and mentor to students in the Diocese of Bismarck. Shea currently serves on the National Advisory Council to the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The hour-long Spiritual Appetizer is a gift from the Tabernacle Society of St. James, the women's group of the parish, to the people of the community. The Basilica is at 622 1st Ave S. in Jamestown. Youth, alumni of U-Mary, the Jamestown College community and other adults from outside the city are also invited. A reception, hosted by St. John Circle will follow the presentation.