McManus, Frederick R. 1923–2005

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McManus, Frederick R. 1923–2005

(Frederick Richard McManus)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born February 8, 1923, in Lynn, MA; died of congestive heart failure, November 27, 2005, in Boston, MA. Priest, religious leader, educator, college administrator, and author. A monsignor in the Roman Catholic Church, McManus was a former vice president at Catholic University and an authority on canon law and the liturgy. Completing his A.B. at St. John's Seminary in 1947, he was ordained that year and served as an assistant at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Norwood, Massachusetts, for a year. McManus was then named the Archdiocesan Master of Ceremonies in Boston for two years, and worked as secretary for the Metropolitan Tribunal from 1950 to 1951. Completing his doctorate in canon law at Catholic University in 1954, he taught at St. John's Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts, for the next four years. McManus joined the faculty at Catholic University as a professor of canon law in 1958. Over the years, he served in various posts there, including as vice provost and dean of graduate studies from 1974 to 1983 and academic vice president from 1983 to 1985. He retired from the university in 1993. In addition to his academic work, McManus's expertise in the liturgy and canon law made him an influential figure in the Catholic Church after Vatican II. Designated an expert—or peritus—he was an important figure among American bishops attending the Vatican Council in the early 1960s. Here, McManus helped write the Constitution on the Sacred Liturgy and fielded questions from American reporters. In 1983, he was a contributor to the rewriting of the Code of Canon Law. From 1965 to 1975, he was director secretariat of the Bishop's Commission on Liturgy at the National Conference of Catholic Bishops in Washington, DC, and he served two terms as president of the Liturgical Conference: from 1959 to 1962, and from 1964 to 1965. A liberal thinker, McManus was influential in his understanding that the world was changing and that the Church would have to change, too, if it was to survive. He made his views known in his writings, as well as through his work as editor of the Jurist for over thirty years. He was the author of several books, including The Congregation of Sacred Rites (1954), Sacramental Liturgy (1967), and Liturgical Participation: An Ongoing Assessment (1988).



Los Angeles Times, December 3, 2005, p. B17.

New York Times, December 4, 2005, p. A39.

Washington Post, December 2, 2005, p. B6.

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McManus, Frederick R. 1923–2005

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