Born in Brockton, Massachusetts on June 14, 1899, he professed his vows on October 9, 1919. He was ordained on December 12, 1925. After teaching philosophy for a short time, in 1926 he was assigned to the Passionist mission in Hunan, China which at that time was in the midst of bandit military turmoil. Chaos was the norm. With a sense of independence and responsibility he worked in the mission. He returned to the United States in 1933 and remained until 1939. From 1933 to 1936 he was an assistant pastor at St. Joseph’s, Union City and then was a mission procurator in the United States. He then, in 1939, went back to China with the charge to assist the refugees of China. In 1941 he lived in Chungking, China where the Nationalist Government was based. He served as a journalist and editor of the China Correspondent and was in constant touch with the Vatican, Chinese authorities, and United States military and diplomatic officials. In May 1944, Father Shanahan, along with other reporters, went to visit Mao ZeDong who was held up in the caves at Yenan. There he saw the positive and negative aspects of the Communist experience. By the 1950s the China mission closed and Father Shanahan was assigned to the Passionist Generalate in Rome, Italy to serve as guestmaster from 1949 to 1952. From 1952 to 1954 he was an associate pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish, Paris, France. In 1957 he was assigned to the Passionist mission in Jamaica, West Indies. He ministered there until 1982. In his final years he resided at the Passionist monastery, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts.
June 14, 1899
October 9, 1919
December 12, 1925
December 21, 1987
Cormac of the Crown of Thorns Shanahan