Popular Posts


Rev. Ora McManus

Father Ora Roland McManus died on February 13th, 2024.
He was born to Bill and Jean (Harkins) McManus on September 18, 1930. He is survived by his sister Carolyn (David) Winfield, his sister-in-law Bernice McManus, four nieces and two nephews, eight grand nieces and one grand nephew. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his sister Joan Reid, brother-in-law Charlie Reid, and his brother Bill.

Father McManus was a proud witness to the lives of his nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephew as they found their way in the world.

Father McManus graduated with a Diploma in Engineering from St. Francis Xavier University in 1950. In 1952 he completed his Bachelor of Engineering (metallurgy) at the Technical University of Nova Scotia (now Dalhousie University) and in 1954 graduated with a Masters in Engineering from that same Institution. He completed his preparation for the Priesthood at the Newman Theological College in Alberta in 1957 and subsequently was ordained and appointed to the Dioceses of Edmonton. In 1967 he completed his Ph.D. in Philosophy at the Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. He held teaching positions at Notre Dame University in Nelson B.C. (Professor of Physics 1958-1960); Newman Theological College (Professor of Philosophy of Science 1960-1963 and 1967-1970); and Cape Breton University (Professor of Philosophy 1971-1990). During his time in Western Canada, Father McManus was appointed Chair of the Western Conference of Priests. Understanding the importance of learning together and gathering to examine our experiences of the world around us, he was the founder and first director of the Renewal Center for the Clergy of Western Canada. In 1973 he was appointed Director of Continuing Education at what is now CBU, a position he held until 1990. After his retirement from CBU,

Father Ora, or Ora, as he was fondly called by his friends, joined New Dawn Enterprises assuming a number of senior volunteer positions, including two six-year terms as Board Chair. He continued his work at New Dawn until he was forced to step away, at the age of 88, due to failing health.

Father Ora felt deep compassion for people and communities that struggled to overcome the often-unfair hand dealt to them. As a young man, he was inspired by the vision of the Antigonish Movement and was particularly touched by the Movement’s impact on Cape Breton in the 1930’s. He maintained a lifelong commitment to the practice of adult education believing, to the point of knowing, that through that practice all things are possible.

We extend heartfelt thanks to the staff at Celtic Court for their compassionate care of Ora, along with sincere appreciation to Doreen MacDonnell whose kindness to Father Ora will long be remembered by the family.

A Vigil will be held at 7:00 PM Sunday April 21 at St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Parish, 40 Cabot St. Sydney. A Mass of Christian Burial, officiated by Bishop Wayne Joseph Kirkpatrick, will be held Monday April 22 at 11:00 AM at the same location. Funeral arrangements are under the care and direction of T.W. Curry Parkview Chapel, Sydney, NS. Online condolences may be sent to the family by leaving a message on the tribute wall of the obituary at www.twcurry.com. In Father Ora’s memory, donations can be made to the New Dawn Volunteer Resource Center (Meals on Wheels Program) or the New Dawn Educational Foundation.