Shaughnessy, Gerald

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Fourth bishop of Seattle, Wash., diocese (now archdiocese); b. Everett, Mass., May 19, 1887; d. Seattle, May 18, 1950. He was the son of Joseph and Margaret (Colwell) Shaughnessy, and attended Boston College on a Cronin scholarship, graduating in 1909. From then until 1916 he taught in Maryland, Montana, and Utah, where he became acquainted with the Society of Mary. He entered their novitiate Sept. 7, 1916, taking perpetual vows May 10, 1918. After theological studies at Marist College in Washington, D.C., he was ordained there June 20, 1920, by Abp. (later Cardinal) John Bonzano, Apostolic Delegate to the U.S. In addition to earning baccalaureate, licentiate, and doctoral degrees in theology at the Catholic University of America, he was a member of the apostolic delegation from 1919 to 1932, professor at Marist College from 1920 to 1923 and 1928 to 1930, member of the original staff of Notre Dame Seminary, New Orleans, La., from 1923 to 1924, and a member of the Marist Mission Band from 1924 to 1928. On completion of his second novitiate at Lyons, France, from 1930 to 1931, he did special literary work in Rome, and the next year became master of the Marist second novitiate in Washington. On July 1, 1933, he was named to the see of Seattle and was consecrated on September 19 by Abp. Amleto G. Cicognani, then Apostolic Delegate, at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, D.C.

Beginning his episcopate during the Great Depression, he put the precarious finances of the diocese on a firm footing and launched a strenuous program of building and consolidating. In 1938 he convoked the Fifth Diocesan Synod of Seattle. In addition to his fiscal and pastoral activities he was given charge of the Missionary Servants of the Most Holy Trinity and approved the serra international for priestly vocations. He contributed to the (old) Catholic Encyclopedia supplement and to various reviews, and published an often quoted statistical study, Has the Immigrant Kept the Faith? (1925). He also adapted from the French two works of Julius Grimal, published under the English titles To Die with Jesus (1925) and With Jesus to the Priesthood (1932).

Richly endowed intellectually, he was also an energetic worker, spending himself with unstinted devotion until November 1945 when he suffered a serious stroke from which he never completely recovered. On Feb. 28, 1948, the coadjutor he had requested was granted him in the person of Thomas A. Connolly, Auxiliary Bishop of San Francisco, who succeeded him on his death.

Bibliography: Archives of the Society of Mary: General, in Rome; Provincial, in Washington, D.C.

[n. a. weber]