Father Jim O’Shea, CP
Jim O’Shea is a priest who professed vows as a Passionist in 1985. In 1997, he began his tenure in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn ministering in a majority Latino parish. Along with pastoral work, he focused his energy on the development of community based organizations addressing urgent community needs. In 2002, he became the founding director of Churches United Corp. which was a coalition of 15 Catholic Churches in North Brooklyn that successfully advocated for the creation of hundreds of units of affordable housing, including the historic agreement reached in the Brooklyn waterfront re-zoning in 2005. Along with leading this coalition, Jim led the process, from feasibility study to the opening of a Cristo Rey Network High School in Brooklyn serving low income families. In 2010, he founded Reconnect Brooklyn with the mission of engaging young people through entrepreneurship, education and service. The project operates Reconnect Café and Reconnect Graphics and has employed over 150 young people. He currently serves as the Executive Director of the project. Father O’Shea is a graduate of Fairfield University (BS 1983), Catholic Theological Union (M.Div. 1989) and Fordham University (MSW 2003).