Father Ernan Johnston, C.P., St. Paul of the Cross Province (1913-1963)

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Born May 24, 1913 in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, he entered the Passionist seminary at Dunkirk, New York in 1927. In 1933 he went to the novitiate in West Springfield, Massachusetts and professed his vows on August 15, 1934. He was ordained on May 1, 1941 by Cardinal Cushing at Holy Cross Cathedral, Boston, Massachusetts. After sacred eloquence he was assigned to the monastery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. A year later he was appointed associate pastor at St. Michael’s Parish, Union City, New Jersey. In 1946 he was assigned to the China missions in Hunan. He spent a year at the language school at Peiping. In 1947 he was assistant priest at the parish in Supu, Hunan. A year later he was appointed pastor at Lungtan, Hunan and remained there until he was expelled from China in 1951 by the Communists. Upon his return to the United States he took a rest period and then was assigned as assistant pastor at St. Mary’s Parish, Dunkirk, New York. He was there from 1952 until 1957. In 1957, when it became obvious that the China mission would not reopen he volunteered for the mission in Jamaica, West Indies. He arrived in September 1957 and was assigned to Black River as the first resident pastor. For the first year, until a rectory was built, he lived with one of the families. On May 19, 1963 he was assigned to cover St. Elizabeth’s Parish in Kingston. While there he died of a heart attack. He was the first Passionist to die in Jamaica, West Indies.