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George Shea papers

Identifier: ADN 0004-001

Scope and Contents

This collection covers the professional areas of Monsignor George W. Shea's life. Research topics with great significance are centered on the Second Vatican Council, one of his longest and most prominent studies. Some of the main subject headings include: the use of Contraceptives both internationally and domestically, separation of Church and State, Ecumenism, Mary in relation to the Vatican Council, Indulgences, Magisterium, Accounts from the different Gospels, Jesus's Burial, Shroud of Turin, and Miracles. There are a great number of cassette and recording tapes that can also be found in the collection; most of which are from the third and fourth session of the Second Vatican Councils press panels. Picture slides in the collection are from Shea's visit to Vatican City, Rome, Capri, Tivoli, Pompei, Montefiasconce, and Napoli. Different files contain newspaper and magazine articles pertaining to research topics, dissertation and class notes from his time spent at the Immaculate Conception Seminary, official Vatican II Council books and documents, publications by Shea, correspondence letters to those seeking advice, and rebuttals to articles written by other priests. All information found within the files cover the years between 1927-1990. Files also include final copies of Shea's dissertation, personal letters, reading books and Bibles. Some of the files found within the collections include material in other languages such as Latin or Spanish.


  • 1927-1990

Conditions Governing Access

Temporarily closed to research.

Conditions Governing Use

All materials available in this collection (unless otherwise noted) are the property of the Monsignor William Noé Field Archives & Special Collections Center and Seton Hall University, which reserves the right to limit access to or reproduction of these materials. Reproduction of materials or content is subject to United States copyright restrictions and may be subject to federal or state privacy regulations. Permission to publish exact reproductions must be obtained from the Director of the Archives and Special Collections Center.

Biographical / Historical

Rev. Monsignor George W. Shea was born into a family of five on 27 December 1910 in Newark, New Jersey with two siblings; a brother named Francis and a sister named Irene. He died on 8 July 1990 in Orange, New Jersey at the Hospital Center at Orange after fighting several years with illnesses. Monsignor Shea was ordained on 29 March 1936 into the priesthood at University of Innsbruck in Austria. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Seton Hall University and his Doctorate degree in Sacred Theology at a university in Switzerland. Shea retired as Pastor Emeritus of Our Lady of Sorrows Church in South Orange, NJ at age 70.

He was the President of the Catholic Theological Society and a chaplain in the United States Navy from 1942-1945. Shea worked at the Immaculate Conception Seminary in Darlington from 1946-1960 as a seminary professor and held the position as rector from 1961-1968. On the weekends when he was not teaching, Shea served as an assistant at St Paul's Parish in Ramsey, NJ, St Mary's Parish on Nutley, NJ and St. Paul of the Cross Parish in Jersey City, NJ. He also worked at The Advocate newspaper, where he wrote a column for eight years entitled "Faith in the Focus".

Shea became a Peritus (expert) of the Second Vatican Council attending all four sessions. He held this title for three years; 1963, 1964, and 1965. He also served on the press panel for the third and fourth session. Most of Shea's research years were spent focusing on the Second Vatican Council and the subtopics of focus under each session. He published several small books and wrote countless essays during his years; all stemming from some subject area surrounding Vatican II and his theological studies.

Monsignor George Shea has published articles and books on theology, written inserts for the Encyclopedia Britannica, The New Catholic Encyclopedia, and Sheed and Ward's The Handbook of Catholic Theology. He was a board member for both the Catholic Society and the Mariological Society of America; he also served as the acting president for some time while being an active member of these societies


15 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Rev. Monsignor. George W. Shea was born on 27 December 1910 in Newark, New Jersey, and attended Seton Hall University. He was ordained on 29 March 1936, became a Navy chaplain during World War II, and was a Peritus (expert) of the Second Vatican Council, attending all four sessions. He died on 8 July 1990 in Orange, New Jersey. This collection covers the professional areas of Monsignor George W. Shea's life. Research topics with great significance are centered on the Second Vatican Council, one of his longest and most prominent studies.

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Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials were transferred to the Archives and Special Collections Center from the Archdiocese of Newark. Terms of accession unknown.

Processing Information

The collection was processed by Archives and Special Collection intern Sandrine Rogers in 2009. The finding aid was created by Erica Garcia in 2009, and was edited by Bridgette Frank and Tracy M. Jackson to include collection-level notes and subject headings in 2013.

George Shea papers, 1927-1990
Sandrine Rogers, Erica Garcia, and Bridgette Frank.
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Finding aid written in English.
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Repository Details

Part of the The Monsignor Field Archives & Special Collection Center Repository

Archives, Walsh Library
400 South Orange Ave
South Orange NJ 07079 US