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Newly ordained priest suffers heart attack
KUSA TV Denver ^ | 10 June 2003 | Paola Farer

Posted on 06/10/2003 10:29:04 PM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER

DENVER - A former Denver police officer who recently became a Roman Catholic priest remains in critical condition after suffering a massive heart attack Monday evening.

The Rev. John O'Shea was ordained on Saturday and gave his first mass on Sunday. He joked at the time about how nervous he was in his new job compared to his old one. “I've had people point guns at me and I wasn't as scared as I was for this," O’Shea told parishioners.

In addition to serving with the police force for more than 25 years, O’Shea has ten children. He decided to join the priesthood after his wife passed away.

“It's a difficult time for all of us because we never expected something like this,” Bishop Jose Gomez said Tuesday. “And everyone's been calling and asking about prayers.”

O'Shea is being cared for at St. Joseph's Hospital. His doctors say the next 24 to 48 hours will give them a better idea about his recovery.

(Copyright 2003 by 9NEWS KUSA-TV. All Rights Reserved)


TOPICS: Catholic
KEYWORDS: brainmass; cancer; catholiclist; co; colorado; denver; donutwatch; heartattack; johnoshea; ordained; priest
http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/religion/article/0,1299,DRMN_61_2018542,00.html


Ken Papaleo © News

Deacon John O'Shea prays at the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception on Sunday morning. Today the former Denver deputy police chief will be welcomed into the priesthood.

Ex-deputy police chief turns to life of the cloth Age 69 and a father of 10, John O'Shea chooses 'God's work'

By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
June 7, 2003

A few weeks ago, former Denver lawman Ari Zavaras looked up to see the looming 6-foot-1 figure of John O'Shea. O'Shea had stopped by to let Zavaras in on some news.

"He had his collar on," Zavaras recalled. "I looked at him and said, 'Oh, don't tell me!' "

It was true: Denver's former deputy police chief, a widowed father of 10 whose life has zigged more than the road up Mount Evans, was taking yet another turn.

Today, in a 10 a.m. ceremony at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, 69-year-old John O'Shea will become a Catholic priest. In the crowd will be at least seven of his 10 kids and a likely sea of faces from his unusual life of police work, teaching and faith.

"I didn't plan any of it - it happened," says O'Shea, who since March has worn the clerical collar of an ordained deacon. "God is so good to me. I don't know if I can measure up."

The archdiocese of Denver isn't worried: O'Shea is being named the new senior parochial vicar of the cathedral. In other words, he'll be in daily charge of the church because the rector, Bishop Jose Gomez, is taking on extra duties as chancellor of the archdiocese.

O'Shea is one of four men who will be ordained today at the Cathedral and apparently one of the two oldest nationwide.

"I think there are some other old guys," he muses good-naturedly. "Somebody's bragging there's a guy in Wisconsin who's 60."

For O'Shea, the road to priesthood is the latest of many journeys.

He was born in Denver and married Barbara Broderick right out of high school. In the 1950s, their brood was growing, but O'Shea was still knocking around jobs in Denver meatpacking and biscuit companies. But by 1961, "I had a lot of kids already. I needed a good job."

So he joined the police department. O'Shea got the old Larimer Street beat, back in the days "when it was skid row." He moved on into traffic accident investigations, where he and his partner, Jake Scherrer, streamlined the processing of drunken drivers and upped the convictions 300 percent.

From there, O'Shea moved steadily into other administrative posts and toted up more and more education credits. On the way, he discovered something: He liked going to school.

"You just get hooked," he says, with a grin. So he became a psychologist, earning a doctorate in an unusual subject for a brawny Irish cop: eating disorders.

All the while, he and Barbara were balancing family life with service to their parish. They taught religion classes and marriage preparation. Their faith was important, and that came through. Says Zavaras: "In the cop shop, people can get cynical, a real hard outer shell. But John never did."

In 1987, retirement beckoned and O'Shea began to contemplate a sweet life with Barbara.

Then life zigged again. The seasoned psychologist was named director of the Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy in Trinidad. He had one requirement for taking the job: After a life of long hours, "I told them I was going to take my wife everywhere because we had been separated for so long."

But for Barbara, years of heart and lung problems were worsening. In the spring of 1997, Barbara Broderick O'Shea entered the hospital for the last time. The night before her death, on March 2, 1997, the couple entwined hands and reviewed their years together.

"We were praying," O'Shea recalls. "It was a great time. Oh, a great time. We just talked about where she was going and what a great life it was we had shared."

He considered a Florida retirement to be near his daughter, Kathleen ("Swim in the ocean and sit on the beach - God would take care of me"), but he knew it wouldn't be enough.

Already, O'Shea had plunged into running a grief group in Trinidad. And he was aware of something else: "During that year, God kept saying to me that he wanted me to be a priest."

After such a happy marriage, did he ever consider searching for wedded bliss a second time?

"Never thought about it," he says briskly. "I was going to do God's work."

When he started looking into it, Monsignor Raymond Jones, the archdiocese's vicar general, who was well known as a police chaplain, quipped: "Yeah, we've considered people as old as you, but we've never taken them."

Archbishop Charles Chaput wasn't fazed, however. Next thing O'Shea knew, he was off to what he calls "an old guy's seminary" in Boston.

His kids were happy for him. "My daughter Kelly says, 'You've been preaching to us for years.' Yeah, I told her, but you haven't listened to me."

On March 2, "six years to the hour that (Barbara) died," John O'Shea stepped to the altar to become a deacon, the final step before becoming a priest. In his thoughts was Barbara O'Shea, the steady compass in his life. No, he won't be carrying a memento of her today. He doesn't need to.

"She's in my heart."

John Leonard O'Shea

Age: 69

Born: Denver

Education: Cathedral grade and high schools; bachelor's degree, Regis University, English and psychology; doctorate in psychology, University of Denver, 1990; entered study for the priesthood in 1999.

Employment: Joined the Denver Police Department, Sept. 18, 1961. Service included patrol, training bureau, property crimes, traffic investigations. Retired in 1987 as deputy police chief.

Director of Colorado Law Enforcement Training Academy, Trinidad, 1993.

Taught religion and marriage preparation classes in parishes since 1960s.

torkelsonj@RockyMountainNews.com or (303)892-5055

Copyright 2003, Rocky Mountain News. All Rights Reserved.

1 posted on 06/10/2003 10:29:04 PM PDT by SMEDLEYBUTLER
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
Boy, that sucks. Hopefully a quick and full recovery.
2 posted on 06/10/2003 10:56:18 PM PDT by Conservative til I die (They say anti-Catholicism is the thinking man's anti-Semitism; that's an insult to thinking men)
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER; father_elijah; nickcarraway; Siobhan; Lady In Blue; attagirl; goldenstategirl; ...
Prayer Ping!

Please notify me via Freepmail if you would like to be added to or removed from the Prayer Ping list.

3 posted on 06/10/2003 10:57:06 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
Prayers that this priest may recover fully and serve as a priest for more than one Mass!

Prayers for his family in this difficult time, too.
4 posted on 06/10/2003 10:58:08 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
**On March 2, "six years to the hour that (Barbara) died," John O'Shea stepped to the altar to become a deacon, the final step before becoming a priest. In his thoughts was Barbara O'Shea, the steady compass in his life. No, he won't be carrying a memento of her today. He doesn't need to.

"She's in my heart."**

This brings tears to my eyes.
5 posted on 06/10/2003 11:03:52 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
Prayers for Father John O'Shea.
6 posted on 06/10/2003 11:05:49 PM PDT by cpforlife.org (“My people are destroyed from lack of knowledge.” Hosea 4:6)
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
Prayer bump
7 posted on 06/10/2003 11:27:20 PM PDT by Dajjal
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
Prayers for recovery of this Priest of God.

Additionally, to all who will read this, I ask prayers for a good friend I know from the daily Mass I sometimes attend. She was rushed to the hospital with ruptured abcesses along her intestinal tract. Major infection. Prognosis doesn't appear good at this time. She, herself, is more worried about the conversion of her children back to Christ and His Church!
8 posted on 06/10/2003 11:40:54 PM PDT by TotusTuus (Ordinary Time: The season of our vocation in the world)
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To: Salvation
Almighty and everlasting God, place Your Healing Hands upon John, your servant, so that he may continue to minister to your people. Please send peace and comfort to his family so that they may be for him a source of strength. Amen.
9 posted on 06/11/2003 5:50:23 AM PDT by Bigg Red (Bush/Cheney in '04 and Tommy Daschole out the door)
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER; Salvation
Prayers being offered for a speedy recovery for Father John. God bless him and his family through this difficult time.
10 posted on 06/11/2003 6:17:49 AM PDT by Gerish
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To: Salvation
What a shame.
11 posted on 06/11/2003 10:45:05 AM PDT by Coleus (God is Pro Life and Straight http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/notify?detach=1)
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To: Coleus
God Bless him and protect him.
12 posted on 06/11/2003 11:18:47 AM PDT by It's me
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
Bump
13 posted on 06/11/2003 11:37:06 AM PDT by Canticle_of_Deborah
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To: Salvation
Prayers for Father O'Shea.
14 posted on 06/11/2003 4:37:57 PM PDT by Barnacle (A Human Shield Against the Onslaught of Leftist Tripe.)
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
I was at this man's ordination last Saturday. Prayers for a good recovery.
15 posted on 06/12/2003 8:33:33 PM PDT by Dumb_Ox
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
I wonder how he's doing.
16 posted on 06/13/2003 6:17:46 PM PDT by Coleus (God is Pro Life and Straight http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/notify?detach=1)
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER; 2ndMostConservativeBrdMember; afraidfortherepublic; Alas; al_c; american colleen; ...
Pray for our priests.

Cop-turned-priest faces new problem
Rev. O'Shea, who had heart attack, has 'mass in head'

By Jean Torkelson, Rocky Mountain News
July 10, 2003

A new medical problem surfaced this week for the Rev. John O'Shea, the retired Denver deputy police chief who suffered a heart attack June 9, two days after being ordained a Catholic priest.

An MRI scan revealed "a mass in his head," said his niece Carolyn O'Shea on Wednesday. She said she learned the news from other family members and had no further details about the results of the scan.

She said her uncle looked well at a family party Saturday, where he was given new clergy vestments to wear when he got back to work.

However, she said the week before he had suffered some small seizures and an MRI had been scheduled to determine the cause.

The priest's brother, Bill O'Shea, declined to comment Wednesday except to say through his wife that the Archdiocese of Denver would speak for the family.

However, Archdiocesan spokesman Greg Kail declined to speak about O'Shea's health except with the permission of family.

O'Shea's saga from cop, widower and father of 10 children to Catholic priest caught the attention of media around the country.

The strapping, 6-foot-1 O'Shea began his journey "to do God's work," as he put it, following the death of his wife and high school sweetheart, Barbara, in 1997.

He was ordained on June 7 at age 69 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, with a number of his children, family and police officers looking on.

O'Shea was scheduled to become the senior vicar at the cathedral following his ordination.

But two days after becoming a priest, O'Shea suffered a heart attack while driving from the cathedral and hit two parked cars. He remained in critical condition for the next few days.

He left St. Joseph Hospital June 18. After emerging from the crisis he appeared to make rapid progress regaining his health.

http://rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_2099188,00.html

http://www.cancermed.com/
17 posted on 07/10/2003 7:12:00 PM PDT by Coleus (God is Pro Life and Straight and gave an innate predisposition for self-preservation and protection)
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To: *Donut watch; jdontom
Pray for our priests and former cops who continue to serve.
18 posted on 07/10/2003 7:15:52 PM PDT by Coleus (God is Pro Life and Straight and gave an innate predisposition for self-preservation and protection)
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To: Coleus
God Be With You Rev. O'Shea!
19 posted on 07/10/2003 7:49:05 PM PDT by JustPiper
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To: Coleus
Thanks for the heads up! I pray for those who are called to serve!
20 posted on 07/10/2003 7:58:44 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Coleus
Thanks for your Ping...We need more protectors like Rev. O'Shea!
21 posted on 07/10/2003 9:17:49 PM PDT by jdontom (BacktheBadge)
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To: Coleus
Thanks for the ping Coleus,How was the freep?Sorry I had to miss it this time.
22 posted on 07/10/2003 9:54:57 PM PDT by fatima (Buy American helps keeps your job.)
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To: Salvation
How are you feeling,How's your Dad?
23 posted on 07/10/2003 10:51:55 PM PDT by fatima (Buy American helps keeps your job.)
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To: jdontom
Thanks for your Ping...We need more protectors like Rev. O'Shea!>>

Yes, we do, as a retired Deputy Police Chief with a good pension he could have moved to florida and played golf every day; instead he decided to serve God by becoming a priest in his golden years.


24 posted on 07/13/2003 6:42:45 PM PDT by Coleus (God is Pro Life and Straight and gave an innate predisposition for self-preservation and protection)
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To: fatima
It was cancelled.

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/942260/posts?page=21#21
25 posted on 07/13/2003 6:43:42 PM PDT by Coleus (God is Pro Life and Straight and gave an innate predisposition for self-preservation and protection)
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To: SMEDLEYBUTLER
Quite sad, he sounds like a man of character and compassion. Prayers for a complete recovery!
26 posted on 07/13/2003 6:51:55 PM PDT by drstevej (http://www.geocities.com/popepiel/)
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