January 10, 2016

Shields, Deacon Thomas A.


 1930 – 2016

Deacon Thomas A. Shields, Retired Permanent Deacon, died on Sunday, January 10, 2016.

Deacon Shields was born on June 28, 1930, in New Bern, North Carolina to the late Anthony and Ada Shields. Deacon Shields was married for 33 years to the late Barbara Jean Smith.

Deacon Shields was ordained at the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, Philadelphia on November 7, 1982, by His Eminence John Cardinal Krol. He was assigned to Saint Elizabeth Parish, Philadelphia, until the parish closed in 1993. He was then assigned to Saint Martin de Porres Parish, Philadelphia, where he remained until his retirement on January 15, 2010.

Deacon Shields was a Korean War veteran, having served in the U.S. Army from February 1951, until November 1952. He attended Temple University, and was a 1954 graduate of the Pennsylvania Institute of Criminology. In 1953, he began a career as a corrections officer for the Philadelphia Prison System. He rose to the rank of warden in 1992, and served in that position until 2001, when he was appointed to lead the Prison Faith-Based Initiatives Office. He retired two years later after 50 years of service.

The reception of the body and viewing will be held on Saturday, January 23, 2016, at 9:00 AM at Saint Martin de Porres Parish, 2340 West Lehigh Avenue, Philadelphia, followed by a Funeral Mass at 11:00 AM. The principal celebrant will be Most Reverend Timothy C. Senior, the Deacon of the Mass and homilist will be Deacon Richard G. Nightingale. Deacon Chaplains will be Deacon William C. Bradley and Deacon Edward M. Purnell. Concelebrants will be the Reverend Stephen D. Thorne, Reverend Rayford E. Emmons, Reverend Monsignor Federico A. Britto, Reverend Edward J. Hallinan, Reverend Monsignor Kevin C. Lawrence, Reverend Monsignor Wilfred J. Pashley, and Reverend Monsignor Hugh J. Shields.

Deacon Shields is survived by four children: Thomas A. Jr., Patricia, Cecelia, and Rosalyn, four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.