Obituary: Father Shakalis, former Brockton pastor

Boston’s former auxiliary bishop John Boles was the principal celebrant at the funeral Mass of Father Peter A. Shakalis on March 27 at St. Casmir Church, Brockton. Father Shakalis died on March 24 at St. Joseph Manor, Brockton. He had been pastor of the Boxer City’s Lithuanian parish from 1970-1994.

Father Shakalis was born in Cambridge, June 10, 1915, a son of Mr. and Mrs. Ignatius Shakalis. He attended St. John the Evangelist schools there and attended Boston College before he entered St. John’s Seminary and completed his studies at the Brighton seminary. Archbishop Richard Cushing ordained him to the priesthood at the Holy Cross Cathedral on May 1, 1947. He celebrated his first Mass at his home parish, Immaculate Conception (Lithuanian), Cambridge a few days later.

During his almost 60 years of priestly service Father Shakalis served in several archdiocesan parishes. He was an assistant at St. Francis of Assisi (Lithuanian), Lawrence (1947-1951); St. George (Lithuanian); Norwood, 1951-1954; St. Linus, Natick (1954-1956); St. Joseph (Lithuanian); Lowell (1956-1957); St. Joseph, Boston’s West End (1957-1964) and Holy Name, West Roxbury (1964-1967).

Cardinal Cushing returned Father Shakalis to his fist assignment, this time as pastor of St. Francis, Lawrence where he served from 1967-1977. In 1977 Cardinal Medeiros named him pastor of St. Casmir, Brockton where he served until his retirement in 1994. He has been assisting in various archdiocesan parishes until very recently.

Father Stephen Zukas served as homilist of the funeral Mass. He joined Bishop John Boles and other classmates and friends of Father Shakalis in concelebrating the funeral Mass. Among his survivors is his brother Edward Shakalis of Plymouth. Father Shakalis was buried in St. Michael Cemetery, Roslindale.