US priest returns to hometown to mark 50 years since ordination

Posted By: August 06, 2018

Gareth McKeown. The Irish News. Monday, August 6, 2018



Fr. Sean McManus pictured with the late Congressman Ben Gilman (R-NY) celebrated the 50th anniversary of his Ordination in his native Fermanagh parish on Saturday, August 4th.

                                                                                                                                                           Fr. Sean McManus pictured with Hillary Clinton in 2009 

                                                                                                                                                                    Fr. Sean McManus pictured with Bill Clinton in 1992

A prominent Irish-American priest has celebrated Mass in his home parish on the 50th anniversary of his ordination.

Fr. Sean McManus, the president of the Washington-based Irish National Caucus, held a service at St. Naile’s Church in Kinawley to mark the special occasion and said he owed “everything I am” to his home parish.

“Today, I am, of course, very conscious of my ordination 50 years ago. But I am also very conscious of my baptism, right here in this church 74 years ago,” he told the congregation.

“It was here – like many of you – that I was baptized into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ; here I became a member of the Body of Christ, here I became a member of the Catholic Church, the sacrament of Christ on earth. Right here in this church. In St. Patrick’s, Killesher, I made my First Communion and received Confirmation.

“So everything I am, my entire Catholic faith, my Catholic identity, and my Catholic ethos, I owe to the parish of Kinawley, to my family and relatives, to my neighbors in Clonliff, and to all the wonderful people of this parish. That is why my heart is never far from Kinawley.”

In his address, Fr. McManus, who has served as a priest in the US since 1972, said the 50th anniversary of his ordination was about “giving thanks for the gift of Jesus Christ,” without whom there would be no priesthood.

“Jesus is the sacrament from which all other sacraments flow,” he told the congregation in Fermanagh. Fr. McManus celebrated his ordination in Kinawley on September 1, 1968, but the date to mark the 50th anniversary was brought forward to accommodate traveling family members.