Mar 4, 2010

Monsignor Thomas J. Manley (1889-1947)

Thomas, who devoted his life to the Roman Catholic Church, was the 2nd child of my great grandparents, John Manley and Maggie Flynn. He was born in Thorold, Ontario on the 26th of September, 1889 and grew up in the tiny village of Merritton (now part of the city of St. Catharines) where he attended the local Catholic School. His mother passed away when he was 4 years old so he was raised by his father with the help of some aunts and uncles. He appears in Merritton in the 1891, 1901 and 1911 census listings. After graduating from the St. Catharines Collegiate he attended Niagara University in Niagara Falls, NY where he earned a Bachelor's Degree. It is not known when he made the decision to become a priest but upon graduation from University in 1913 he entered St. Augustine's Seminary in Toronto, Ontario which would set the course for the remainder of his life.

On the 9th of April, 1917 Thomas was ordained as a Roman Catholic Priest at St. Michael's Cathedral in Toronto. During his life as a Priest he served the following parishes:
  • 1917 St. Catharine of Alexandria Cathedral, St. Catharines, Ontario (Associate Pastor)
  • 1918 Our Lady of the Holy Rosary, Thorold, Ontario (Associate Pastor)
  • 1919 St. Ann's, Toronto, Ontario (Associate Pastor)
  • 1928 St. Joan of Arc, Toronto, Ontario (Pastor)
  • 1936 St. Brigid's, Toronto, Ontario (Pastor)
St. Brigid's RC Parish, Toronto, Ontario

In February of 1946 he was honored with the designation of Monsignor and became the Right Reverend Thomas J. Manley, D.P. (Domestic Prelate). This is an honor that requires nomination by the Archbishop and is conferred by the Pope for outstanding service to the church and community.

Following is a list of other appointments in his service to the church in addition to his duties as Parish Priest:
  • 1921-1928 Chancellor and Secretary to Archbishop Neil McNeil, Toronto
  • 1925 Chaplain, Camp Borden
  • 1935 Pro-Synodal Judge, Toronto Diocesan Tribunal
  • 1936 Toronto Diocesan Director, Holy Name Society
  • 1939 Pro-Synodal Judge, Toronto Diocesan Tribunal
  • 1942 Toronto Diocesan Consultor
  • 1946 Feb 15 Papal Honors; DP
  • 1946 Toronto Diocesan Consultor
During these years, he traveled frequently to New York and Florida for various conferences and retreats. In 1932 he sailed to Ireland via New York and then again in 1934. I would love to know what he did and where he went on these trips to Ireland. In April of 1942 he celebrated the Silver Jubilee (25 yrs) of his ordination into the priesthood with dinner banquets held in his honor by the Union of Holy Name Society and the Toronto and Suburban Separate School System. He also officiated at many of our family's baptisms, weddings, funerals, and burials. In November of 1946 he suffered a heart attack and after spending several weeks in the hospital, went to Miami, Florida to convalesce. Sadly, he passed away in Miami on the 21st of March, 1947. He was 57 years old. His funeral was held on the 26th of March, 1947 at his own parish of St. Brigid's where a beautiful bronze placque in memory of him is displayed to this day and he is buried at the Queen of the Clergy (Regina Cleri) cemetery at St. Augustine's Seminary in Toronto.

News, The Toronto Star, Sep 3, 1936:
Rev. Thomas Manley, pastor of St. Joan of Arc parish and former chancellor of the archdiocese, has been named the diocesan director of the Holy Name society for a three-year period beginning Sept. 1, 1936. Father Manley succeeds Rev. J. L. Hand who was for long years the diocesan director. Directors have also been appointed for the deaneries of St. Catharines and Barrie. Rev. Augustine Mogan pastor of St. Mary's church, Welland has been appointed the director of the deanery of St. Catharines, and Rev. J. McDonagh, pastor of Stayner, has been appointed director of the Holy Name society for the deanery of Barrie.
News, The Toronto Star, Mar 21, 1947:
Rt. Rev. T.J. Manley, pastor of St. Brigid's Roman Catholic church, and archdiocesan executive director of the Holy Name society, died in Florida last night, according to word received here today. Msgr. Manley had been in Florida since Feb. 9. He had suffered a heart attack in November and had spent 11 weeks in hospital. He then went south.
News, The Toronto Star, Mar 22, 1947:
His Eminence Cardinal McGuigan will celebrate solemn requiem high mass at St. Brigid's Roman Catholic church Wednesday morning, when funeral services will be held for Rt. Rev. T.J. Manley, pastor of St. Brigid's and archdiocesan executive director of the Holy Name society, who died in Florida Thursday night. Interment will take place in the priest's plot, St. Augustine's seminary.
Funeral, The Toronto Star, Mar 26, 1947:
Practically every diocese in Ontario was represented at the funeral today of Mons. T.J. Manley, 57, pastor of St. Brigid's Roman Catholic church and archdiocesan executive director of the Holy Name society. James C. Cardinal McGuigan presided at the chanting of the solemn requiem mass in the late pastor's parish church where the body had been lying in state for a day. The church was filled and besides the large representation of clergy there were civic dignitaries and laymen from many parts of Canada and the U.S. Mons. Manley died in Florida last Thursday, having gone there in February for his health. He was born in Thorold. All immediate members of his family had predeceased him. Assisting Cardinal McGuigan at the funeral were the deacons of honor, Rt. Rev. M. Cullinane and Rt. Rev. J. O'Connor; deacons of the mass, Rev. Austin Marshman and Rev. C. Sullivan. Rev. G. Quinlan was master of ceremonies, assisted by Rev. C. Schwalm. The funeral sermon was preached by Rev. A. Clancy of Thorold and in the sanctuary was Most Rev. Benjamin Webster, auxiliary bishop of Toronto, and many monsignori. Pallbearers were; Rev. J. Crothers, Rev. L. Hickey, Rev. W. J. Kelly, Rev. T. McCabe, Rev. D. O'Connor and Rev. F.H. Gallagher. The remains were taken to the priest's cemetery at St. Augustine's seminary, Scarboro, for interment.

Parents of Thomas J. Manley:
John J. Manley (1854-1933)
Margaret Flynn (1857-1894)

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