Société des Missions Africaines –Province d'Irlande

oshea philip né le 14 février 1912 à Graiguenamanagh
dans le diocèse de Kildare, Irlande
membre de la SMA le 2 juillet 1933
prêtre le 20 décembre 1936
décédé le 17 janvier 1984

1937-1952 missionnaire au Ghana, 

1937-1947, collège Saint-Augustin, Cape Coast
1947-1952, séminaire Amisano, Elmina
1952-1958 Blackrock Road, Cork, procureur provincial
1958-1968 vice provincial et conseiller
1968-1980 économe provincial
1980-1984 Blackrock Road, Cork, retiré

décédé à Newcastle, Irlande, le 17 janvier 1984,
à l'âge de 72 ans

Father Philip John O'SHEA (1912 1984)

Philip O'Shea was born at Graiguenamanagh, Co Kilkenny, in the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin (his home address was 'Nore View', Thomastown), on 14 February 1912. He died at Peamount hospital, Newcastle, Co Dublin, on 17 January 1984.

A native of Thomastown, Philip (Phil) studied at the Sacred Heart college, Ballinafad, Co Mayo, the Society's preparatory college (1926 1928). Next he went south to St. Joseph's college, Wilton, Cork, the Society's senior college, where he completed his secondary education. In the autumn of 193l he entered the Society's novitiate and house of philosophy, at Kilcolgan, Co Galway. He received his theological formation in the Society's seminary at Dromantine, Co Down, between 1933 1937. Philip was admitted to membership of the Society on 2 July 1933 and was ordained a priest, by Bishop Edward Mulhern of Dromore diocese, in St. Colman's cathedral, Newry, on 20 December 1936. He was one of a group of eighteen ordained on that day.

After ordination Philip was assigned to the Gold Coast (Ghana) mission. Seven years earlier, Maurice B. Kelly had established the first catholic teacher training college in the Gold Coast and in the year of Philip's ordination he had founded the prestigious St. Augustine's college at Cape Coast, a secondary school which also incorporated a teacher training department. It was to this college that Philip was appointed on his arrival. He served there until 1947, revealing exceptional gifts as a teacher and administrator. These were recognised when in August 1948 he was designated rector of Amisano seminary, Elmina.

In 1952 the Irish Province found itself in a difficult financial position, brought on by the heavy demands of training a large student population, by its increasing commitments in Africa and, not least, by the heavy cost incurred over a decade earlier (1941) in building a large addition to the Provincial headquarters at Blackrock Road, Cork, to cater for missionaries on leave and those who were invalided. It was against this background that Philip was recalled to Cork to take charge of the Province's financial administration. He was to be procurator for the Province between 1952 1958 and again between 1968 1980. In the intervening years he served as vice Provincial, elected to that office at the Provincial Assembly of 1958. During his 32 years in Cork he also served for a term as vice superior at Blackrock Road (1954-1964) and was a delegate to the Provincial Assembly of 1968 and to the General Assembly of the same year.

Philip made an invaluable contribution to the work of missions in the many posts he occupied over the years. As superior of the minor seminary, at Amisano, he helped to train many of the future priests and bishops of Ghana. As Provincial procurator he administered the affairs of the Province skilfully and wisely and showed unfailing courtesy to every member who entered his office. In the city of Cork he became well known and respected in religious, business and medical circles. For many years he was confessor to the Bon Secours Sisters, whose hospital was to be the last home for so many of his colleagues. Finally, Philip was to play a key role in supplying lay teachers and medical graduates for the Society's missions in West Africa, liaising between the bishops and the Medical Missionary Society based in U.C.C., and recruiting further afield. Philip retired in ill health in March 1980. He died, aged 72, after a long and painful illness which he bore with fortitude.

He is buried in Wilton cemetery.