Frederick R. McManus
February 8, 1923 - November 27, 2005
Monsignor Frederick R. McManus died on November 27, 2005. He was a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy and a recipient of its Berakah Award. He was Professor Emeritus of the School of Canon Law and former Academic Vice President at The Catholic University of America in Washington, DC.
Msgr. McManus was born in Lynn, MA on February 8, 1923. After graduating from Boston College High School, he studied at the College of the Holy Cross, Worchester, MA from 1940-42 and in the fall of 1942 entered St. John's Seminary in Brighton, MA., where he received the degree of Bachelor of Arts in 1947. On May 1, 1947 he was ordained to the priesthood for the Archdiocese of Boston. Msgr. McManus continued his studies in canon law at The Catholic University of America where he received the J.C.B. degree in 1952, the J.C.L. in 1953, and the J.C.D. in 1954.
Msgr. McManus began his teaching career in 1954 as Professor of Canon Law and Moral Theology at St. John's Seminary, Brighton, MA. He joined the faculty at Catholic University as an Assistant Professor in 1958, and was promoted to the rank of Associate Professor in 1960 and to the rank of Ordinary Professor in 1964. Msgr. McManus served as Dean of the School of Canon Law from 1967 to 1973, as Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies from 1974 to 1983, and as Academic Vice President from 1983 to 1985. Msgr. McManus received the Papal Benemerenti Medal in 1984 for his service to The Catholic University of America. He retired from his position as a tenured faculty member in September 1993, but continued to teach until 1997.
In addition to his expertise as a canonist, Msgr. McManus was well-known for his contributions to the liturgical renewal in the Catholic Church and to the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue. He served as consultor to the Pontifical Preparatory Commission on the Sacred Liturgy for the Second Vatican Council and was a peritus at the Council. He also was a consultor to the Consilium for the Implementation of the Constitution on the Liturgy that resulted from the Council. While on the faculty at Catholic University, Msgr. McManus also served a term of ten years as the Director of the Secretariat of the Committee on the Liturgy of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Msgr. McManus also held membership on the International Commission on English in the Liturgy, the Consultation on Common Texts, and the English Language Liturgical Consultation. He further served as a consultor to the Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, and was a member of the Catholic-Orthodox Bilateral Commission and the International Joint Commission for Catholic-Orthodox Theological Dialogue.
Msgr. McManus was a prolific scholar, authoring eleven books and hundreds of scholarly and popular articles. He also served as editor of The Jurist for more than 40 years. Msgr. McManus received Honorary Degrees from Saint Anselm's College, Stonehill College, College of the Holy Cross and Mount Saint Mary's College. He also received the Pax Christi Award from Saint John's University, Collegeville, MN, as well as numerous other awards, including the John Courtney Murray Award from the Catholic Theological Society of America in 1990.
Msgr. McManus was a member of the American Association of University Professors; Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities; Canon Law Society of America; Catholic Theological Society of America; Catholic Commission on Cultural and Intellectual Affairs; Consociatio Internationalalis Studio Juris Canonici Promovendo; Interfaith Forum on Religion, Art, and Architecture; The Liturgical Conference; North American Academy of Ecumenists; and Societas Liturgica.
Msgr. McManus was instrumental in the establishment of the Federation of Diocesan Liturgical Commissions (FDLC) in 1968. The FDLC named its annual award for contribution to the liturgical movement for him, and he was the first recipient of the Frederick R. McManus award. He was the president of The Liturgical Conference in the early sixties. His most significant contribution to liturgy was his work with ICEL from the initial days just before Vatican II, when ICEL was first talked about, through several decades of the birthing of today's vernacular liturgy in the English speaking world.
His friends note that he was above all a priest and a gentleman and a scholar, as well as a good tennis player and tennis enthusiast to the end!
A viewing will be held at Regina Cleri Residence, 60 William Cardinal O'Connell Way, Boston, MA from 4-8 p.m. on Thursday, December 1, 2005. The funeral Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 2, 2005 at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, 115 Union Street, Lynn, MA.
Condolences may be sent to the McManus Family, in care of Regina Cleri Residence, Archdiocese of Boston, 60 William Cardinal O'Connell Way, Boston MA 01224-2709.
Tribute prepared by the North American Academy of Liturgy.