Rotto cleric rests in peace
Alf Pace. Picture: Danella Bevis/The West Australian

Rottnest's much-loved Catholic priest Sean O'Shea got his wish to be buried on the island he loved.

After living and working on Rottnest for most of the previous 50 years, Monsignor O'Shea spent almost a decade planning his final resting place alongside the island church he built.

He even dug his own grave in anticipation. Twice.

Now, the final piece of his eternal dream is in place with the erection of the headstone he organised.

Long-time friend and former church caretaker Alf Pace said everything was now as Monsignor O'Shea wanted.

"His headstone was ready to go long before he died," Mr Pace said.

"All we had to do was put the date on it.

"Now everything is complete and the Monsignor O'Shea can truly rest in peace. The mission is completed."

Monsignor O'Shea retired after his final Mass on the island in June 2012 and died from a heart attack six months later.

After a Mass in Perth, his coffin was taken to Rottnest on a ferry.

And under cloudy Rottnest skies, Monsignor O'Shea was lowered to his final resting place just a few steps from Holy Trinity Church and alongside the gravestone of his friend, Father Joseph O'Hara.

It was the first burial on the island in at least 75 years.

The West Australian

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