The Apostle of Nigeria
Born on June 6, 1871 in Glankeen, Borrisoleigh, County Tipperary, Ireland, to a devout Catholic family, Joseph Shanahan was accepted to the Spiritan Congregation’s Apostolic school in north France.
In 1889, he was transferred to the French Juniorate of the Congregation in Cellule in the Auvergne. After 11 years he was steeped in the French tradition of the Congregation with its clear orientation towards serving on the foreign missions.
Joseph made his profession on Easter Sunday 1898, and his ordination took place on April 22, 1900 in the Blackrock College chapel. By mid-July 1902, Fr Shanahan had received his appointment for Nigeria to help Fr Léon Lejeune make bricks to build the first proper mission house in Onitsha.