Rev. Fr. Joseph P. Shiel
This very friendly priest was appreciated by his parishioners; it was as – ‘a láchaí man’ – he was remembered in his native County.
Joseph P. Shiel was born on May 14th, 1924 in Kilkelly, Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo. His early education was in Co. Mayo prior to his secondary studies at St Nathy’s College in Ballaghadereen, Co. Roscommon.
He entered the Spiritian Congregation where he was professed during 1944. Following his Philosophy course at Kimmage Manor he prefected at St Mary’s, Rathmines during the years of 1946 -1947.
Joseph Shiel was Ordained during 1950. The following year he was appointed to Nigeria where he ministered at the Holy Cross parish at Uli Owerri diocese until 1963.
On his return to Ireland Fr. Shiel spent three years in Kimmage Manor before he travelled to minister in Cardiff from 1966 -1967. He was transferred to a London parish during 1968 until 1971. His next appointment was to Brooklyn Diocese, USA from 1971 – 1974.
Again Fr. Shiel returned to Ireland for promotional work for some time. When he returned to the United States, he ministered at the Long Island Community. He was provided with a car for his pastoral visits, but he purchased a bicycle as he decided it would be more helpful for meeting the people at a personal level.
Due to illness Fr, Shiel retired from his ministry during 1991. It was a delight that most of his parishioners kept in constant contact with him. He lived with his family until his failing health meant a transfer to Marian House during 1996.
Unfortunately, his health continued to deteriorate. His demise occurred aged seventy – three on November 8th, 1997.