James Cajetan Sheehan, O.P.

James Cajetan Sheehan, O.P.


Birth: September 28, 1903

Profession: August 16, 1931

Ordination: June 11, 1937

Died: August 21, 1997

James Michael Sheehan was born in New London, CT the son of John and Catherine (O’Neill) Sheehan. He attended Nathan Hale Grammar School in that city and Aquinas High School in Columbus, OH graduating in 1928. From 1928-1930 he studied at Providence College in Providence, RI.

James entered the novitiate of St. Joseph’s Province at St. Rose Priory in Springfield, KY in the summer of 1930 and received the religious name Cajetan. He was professed here the following year.  He spent the next three years at the Dominican House of Studies in River Forest, IL pursuing his philosophical studies (1931-1934). From 1934-1937 he studied theology at St. Joseph’s Priory, Somerset, OH.  It was in this last year that he was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Michael J. Curley, Bishop of Baltimore, MD at St. Dominic Church, Washington, DC.

Fr. Sheehan’s whole career was primarily spent in the parochial ministry. His first assignment was to St. Joseph’s Priory in Somerset, OH as parochial minister and procurator (1937-1941). From 1941-1951 he ministered at Sacred Heart in Jersey City, NJ, also serving there as procurator and sub-prior. In 1951 he was transferred to St. Catherine of Siena Parish in New York City to work in the hospital ministry and serve also as the Priory’s procurator. From 1963-1987 he served as parochial minister, hospital chaplain and sub-prior at St. Raymond’s parish in Providence, RI. His final assignment was to St. Mary Priory, New Haven, CT. Here he celebrated the 60th anniversary of his ordination the day before he was transferred to Rosary Hill Home, Hawthorne, NY where he died two months later.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Mary Church, New Haven, CT by Fr. Norman Haddad, O.P., Prior Provincial. The homilist was Fr. Thaddeus Murphy, O.P.

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