‘He who abides in Love’

I sit here, over a thousand miles away from my hometown dealing with the flood of emotions that I have, my thoughts and prayers today are toward Father Manno. My many memories of this truly wonderful man who was instrumental not only in my young life and into adulthood, but I also ponder on the literally thousands of lives that this man had an impact on over the many years that he served the Lord. A favorite son, a gentle, gracious, kind, caring, and loving, (sometimes stern) man; a true ambassador for Williamsport, and yet Father John was even so much more than that to all who were fortunate to know, experience, and love him.

We all have our favorite stories and too many to count lessons that he shared and gifted to us. We remember our favorite moments, smiles, hugs, talks, prayers, and yes even a tap upside the head (I needed to stop talking in Theology class!) we received from him. We see him standing tall on the pulpit delivering one of his many famous homilies, (How many remember the “I have an Excedrine Headache homily?”) or his blessing of the animals in the parking lot or giving a benediction at a baseball field at the beginning of a season. Or yet many more of those precious moments in time that we were all fortunate to experience with this man.

I, like many others I presume, feel truly blessed, fortunate, and grateful that we had Father Manno in our lives. We truly “CHERISH” (The Association version only) those times we shared, and now we look fondly on the life of this great man. I can only wish that in the future there will be some fitting lasting memory created in his honor so that younger generations will learn of his life and gifts that he shared with many who knew him, knew of him, or only briefly met him.

As I reflect I still remember my favorite quote I learned from him over 40 some years ago. “God is Love, And he who abides in Love, Abides in God and God in him.”

Thank you, Father John Manno, for having such a large impact on so many lives that you came in contact with — and continue to teach us daily as you continue your next step in your journey.

Joseph K. Kirby

BNHS Class of 1978

Fort Myers, Florida

Submitted via email