Celebrating Fr. Michael Shea’s 60th Priestly Anniversary at St. Cornelius Church, Thailand


On January 27, 2024, the community of St. Cornelius Church in Thailand joyously commemorated the 60th Priestly Anniversary of Fr. Michael Shea, C.Ss.R. The event marked a significant milestone in his dedicated service to the church and the community.

Fr. Shea was ordained a priest in 1964 by Bishop Roman Atkielski at Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, USA. Two years later, he came to Thailand and since then has lived and worked faithfully in this country. Throughout his priestly journey, Fr. Shea has exemplified compassion, humility, and a profound sense of duty. His contributions to the spiritual growth of the parishioners, charitable initiatives, formation works, and community-building efforts have left an indelible mark.

His compassionate outreach reflects a commitment to addressing the needs of the marginalized, embodying the essence of selfless service in his 60 years of priesthood. The celebration not only acknowledges his spiritual leadership but also applauds his tireless efforts to uplift the less fortunate, making a lasting impact on the lives of those in need.

Fr. Shea’s dedication to serving the marginalized is further exemplified by his role as the founder of Sarnelli House for less privileged children. This initiative underscores his commitment to providing a safe haven and support for those in need, particularly vulnerable children. This celebration also recognizes his significant contributions in establishing and nurturing a space that positively impacts the lives of less privileged children in the northeastern part of Thailand.

This celebratory event was a testament to the impact Fr. Shea has had on the lives of many. The children, parishioners, friends, and well-wishers gathered to honour his selfless service. The celebration included a special Mass, where Fr. Shea reflected on his decades of ministry and expressed gratitude for the community’s support. As Fr. Shea continues his journey, the community remains inspired by his unwavering commitment to spiritual journey and the well-being of those he serves.

Fr. Peter Jittapol Plangklang, C.Ss.R.