Father Manno an inspiration for community

The Rev. John K. Manno was a friend to all who passed his way.

He was a blessing for the community who could not look the other way.

He saw a neighborhood in crisis and worked tirelessly to gather people who could join forces to better the lives of others.

He witnessed people flooded out of their homes and organized efforts that provided comfort and assistance while devastated people tried to salvage what they could after their world was torn apart.

He counseled many troubled spirits, including those in prison; his heart knew salvation was possible.

He traveled to Ground Zero and prayed with those left in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

He climbed onto his much loved motorcyle and prayed for the fallen while blessing fellow bikers in what has become an annual rite following those attacks. And then he did it again and again — that motorcyle was among his great joys.

But he did not want credit. He just wanted what was good, what was right.

He was a friend of the newspaper, often providing tips under the guise of “Jimmy Olsen.” His sense of humor showed itself even when there were serious matters weighing on his mind.

He reached out to many, many members of the community to guide help where it was desperately needed.

He blessed those around him everyday with his presence.

Those who were fortunate enough to cross paths with him always left a little better for knowing him, even in fleeting moments. “Bless you,” he’d say at the end of every conversation which frequently would be peppered with gratitude.

But it was always the person encountering him who was left with gratitude afterward, he just was that kind of positive force in the world.

To think how fortunate this community is that the God Father Manno loved so much placed him here to spend his life shepherding the less fortunate! Words just cannot adequately say.

Yes, we were all blessed.

He will be very, very missed.