WYCKOFF, N.J. — Howard O’Shea, OFM, 88, a professed Franciscan for 62 years and a priest for 57, died March 26 at Christian Health Care Center.
A wake will be offered on March 30 from 4 to 7:30 p.m., with a wake service at 7 p.m., at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. on March 31 at the Shrine. Provincial Minister Kevin Mullen, OFM, will serve as principal celebrant and Hugh Hines, OFM, will be the homilist. Burial will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery in West Roxbury, Mass.
Howard was born on May 17, 1927 in Cambridge, Mass., to Edward and Mary (nee Fitzgerald) O’Shea and baptized William Francis in Belmont, Mass. He graduated from Phillips Academy in Andover, Mass., before joining the U.S. Army in 1945. He studied Japanese at Yale University in preparation for deployment in the Pacific during World War II.
After leaving the army, Howard graduated from Harvard College in 1949 and worked as a reporter for United Press International before deciding to join the friars. He was received into the Franciscan Order in 1952 and professed first vows one year later. After studying philosophy and theology, he professed solemn vows in 1956 and was ordained in 1958.
Howard’s first assignment in 1959 was as a teacher at Bishop Timon High School in Buffalo, N.Y. After one year, he relocated to Providence, R.I., where he was on the staff at St. Francis Chapel for seven years. While stationed there, he became chaplain at Brown University, where he served as an advocate of spiritual renewal and greater ecumenical understanding for 27 years. He was also involved in counseling and administration, and served on a number of faculty and student committees.
In 1995, Howard transferred to France, where he served as chaplain for foreign students at the State University in Avignon for two years. He went on to minister at the Institute for American Universities in Aix-en-Provence from 1997 to 2011.
Howard retired to St. Anthony Shrine in Boston in 2011. He was transferred to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J., in August 2015, and to Christian Health Care Center earlier this month.
He is survived by cousins James and Barbara Runde of Chappaqua, N.Y., sister-in-law Lauren Curry of Cambridge, Mass., and nieces and nephews.
Memorial donations may be sent to Franciscan Friars — Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd St., New York, NY 10001-3202.
— Compiled by Carolyn Croke and Maria Hayes
- “Shrine’s Young Adult Ministry Successful with Friar Support” — Oct. 10, 2012, HNP Today
- “Friars Bid Farewell to Rhode Island Parish” — Feb. 29, 2012, HNP Today
- “60s Chaplains Reflect on Students Today” — April 12, 1987, The New York Times
- Bishop Timon-St. Jude High School website