Africa, Asia, North America

Sister Adele Shea

Sister Adele Shea serves as the Sacristan at Villa Notre Dame in Wilton, Connecticut.

Sister Adele Shea in the old SSND habit. She was professed in 1955 and will be celebrating her 60th Jubilee this year.



Born into a Notre Dame family

“I was born into a Notre Dame family. My Dad’s two sisters were School Sisters of Notre Dame – Sister Mary Douleur Shea and Sister Mary Magdelene Shea. Sister Douleur was stationed in St. Joseph’s in New York City (a subway ride away from Brooklyn, New York). 

To the young today:

Listen to your heart. God speaks to you there. He has a wonderful plan for your life. He will guide you to be the best you can be. Happiness comes when you follow his command. We sing, “If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.” He also may be calling you to be a religious. If so, listen to the call. Remember, “Love Cannot Wait!”

- Sister Adele Shea

Sister Adele Shea, as a baby, is held by her aunt, Sister Douleur Shea, a School Sister of Notre Dame.

"As children, we went to visit her every month without fail. She was special to all of us. I remember how my sister, Marie, and I sat in the parlor on these straight back chairs swinging our legs but being patient while the adults talked. My younger brother, Joe, was always in the kitchen with Sister Bruno, who fondly spoiled him.

“Then Sister Douleur would look over at us with the most beautiful, loving smile and say, ‘I think I might have something upstairs.’ She would come down with her hands behind her back and we would pick a hand. It was always something nice because it came from Sister Douleur. I just loved the way she loved us. I thought she was right from heaven.

“At age five – I remember it well – I was standing in the convent corridor with the family and some sisters and I very emphatically declared that I was going to become a Notre Dame sister when I grew up. One sister told me that I could not wear those patent leather shoes, but I told her that as OK because when I was older my feet would fit in those shoes (and they did for 60 years)."

Falling in love with Jesus Christ

"I fell in love with Jesus Christ when I was very young. I really never regretted my life as a religious. There certainly were times of difficulty as all life enfolds, but I have to say I have always been happy in whatever I did for the Lord and somehow enjoyed the sisters wherever I lived. I really loved teaching, and the interactions with children. School was their home away and learning with happiness was of the utmost importance to me.

"As I live today, after life more experienced, I look back and see how the Lord’s hands were always in every undertaking and event. (Of course, it’s always clearer later.) Today, after knowing how God was always in everything, I have become more relaxed in his love and appreciate all that has been. His will is clearer and more trusted. It takes a lifetime to really know this.
"Early on, I fell in love with Jesus Christ. He was so important in my life. My love has grown, and my trust in God’s love has been strengthened.”

- Sister Adele Shea

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