He was born on Sept. 12, 1946, in Jefferson City, the only child of W.C. Sheley and Lucille Renn Sheley. Father Sheley attended Immaculate Conception School and graduated from Helias High School, Jefferson City, in May 1964. He entered Conception Seminary College where he graduated with a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy in May 1968. He made his theology studies at Conception Seminary and Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans, and received a master of divinity degree from Notre Dame in May of 1986.
A member of the Benedictine community since 1969, Sheley made his solemn vows as a monk Aug. 15, 1973. He was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Helmsing Aug. 17, 1973. in the Abbey Basilica and served during the following years in several assignments as a Benedictine priest. With the concurrence of the Abbot of Conception Abbey, Father Sheley was incardinated as a priest of the diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau on May 13, 1998. He served as a pastor in that diocese at St. Joseph parish in Springfield and Sacred Heart in Dexter. On Aug. 13, 2003, Father Sheley was given a leave for health reasons and returned to his hometown of Jefferson City.
A Mass of Resurrection, celebrated by Bishop John Leibrecht, will take place at 11:30 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, 2007, in St. Joseph Catholic Church, Springfield. Visitation in St. Joseph's is that same morning from 9:30 until 11. A second Mass of Resurrection will be offered at 11:30 a.m. Friday, Feb. 23, 2007, in Immaculate Conception Church, Jefferson City, where Father Sheley had been living the past several years. A prayer service and visitation is scheduled at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, 2007, in Immaculate Conception. Interment will be at a later date in Resurrection Cemetery in Jefferson City under the care of Herman H. Lohmeyer Funeral Home 500 E. Walnut Springfield. Online condolences can be made at www.hhlohmeyer.com.