Msgr. Michael McManus, 94, oldest and longest serving priest of the archdiocese, dies July 31
Msgr. Michael McManus, 94, the oldest and longest serving priest of the Archdiocese of San Antonio, died July 31 at Padua Place in San Antonio.
Msgr. McManus, “Father Mac” as he was affectionately known, was born in Killasser, County Mayo, Ireland, on Oct. 25, 1922. He was the youngest of five children of Sarah Ruane and Michael McManus. One of his brothers, Father Martin McManus, ministered for 30 years in Nigeria, and he had a sister Sarah, who took the name Sister Gabriel, who was a member of the Presentation Sisters.
Msgr. McManus was ordained at All Hallows Seminary in Dublin, Ireland, on June 20, 1948, along with Msgr. Patrick Murray, for the Archdiocese of San Antonio.
He first served as an assistant pastor at St. Leo’s Church in San Antonio from 1948 to 1955. Afterwards, he was appointed pastor of Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in St. Hedwig from 1955 to 1959, pastor of St. Michael’s Church in San Antonio from 1959 to 1964, pastor of St. Patrick’s Church in San Antonio from 1964 to 1978, pastor of Our Lady of Grace Church in LaCoste from 1978 to 1989, and finally as pastor of St. Stanislaus Church in Bandera and its mission of St. Victor Chapel in Lakehills from 1989 to 1998.
In Bandera, Msgr. McManus was instrumental in forming the Bandera County Christian Fellowship to improve ecumenical relationships, and his concern for youth led to his participation in the creation of a Youth Center in the community. The monsignor also visited those incarcerated at the jail in Bandera each Sunday, and he traveled to visit those incarcerated in the prison system across the state.
On an archdiocesan level, Msgr. McManus served on the Presbyteral Council, the Personnel Board, and was a consultor and member of the Board of Directors of the Casa de Padres priest retirement residence during its development.
In an article in Today’s Catholic newspaper in 1988 as he prepared to celebrate his 40th anniversary of priesthood in LaCoste, Msgr. McManus described the presbyterate of San Antonio as “a great bunch of priests — a very good group.”
The monsignor hoped for an increase in vocations, but indicated that in small rural communities the laity needed to become as involved as possible. In this way, the people would be ready should the shortage of priests become a more serious issue.
He described himself as a “happy and contented priest with no regrets. I find it hard to believe I’ve been ordained 40 years,” he said at the time.
Msgr. McManus observed his golden anniversary of ordination to the priesthood with a Mass of thanksgiving on May 17, 1998 at the Bandera High School Auditorium, with five bishops concelebrating the liturgy.
The viewing was held Aug. 4 at Angelus Funeral Home, followed by a vigil held at St. Anthony de Padua Church. The Mass of resurrection was held Aug. 5, also at St. Anthony de Padua.