Barb and Mike McManus speak from behind the ambo that was presented to them upon their retirement from the National Catholic Broadcasting Council Nov. 11. The ambo will remain in the chapel of Loretto Abbey where the Daily Mass is broadcast from. Photo by Michael Swan.

Daily Mass originator McManus passes the torch

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  • November 20, 2015

TORONTO - It’s been 17 years and the broadcast of well over 5,000 television Masses — marking the right moment for Barb and Mike McManus to pass the torch.

Since 1998 the Daily Mass has been on TV from coast-to-coast-to-coast in Canada thanks to the National Catholic Broadcasting Council — the brainchild of Mike McManus. Surrounded by NCBC volunteers and staff at Loretto Abbey, the Catholic high school whose chapel provides a serene, gorgeous setting for the daily broadcasts, on Nov. 11 McManus retired from the operation he founded.

McManus’ wife and trusted helper through the years, Barb, expects to follow him into retirement following a brief transition.

The new president and executive director of the NCBC will be Deacon Mike Walsh, well known for his work with former prison inmates through the Friends of Dismas and for his blog itinerantpreacher.org.

Enduring and flourishing through the last decade and a half of massive change in the broadcast industry, from the launch of digital satellite services and the Internet revolution, the NCBC has adapted to make the Daily Mass available as widely as possible.

Through Burlington, Ont.- based Yes TV — on CITS-DT in Hamilton, Ont., CKCS-DT in Calgary and CKES-DT in Edmonton — the Daily Mass is available to 6.9 million Canadian households. It’s also available nationwide on the specialty digital Vision TV service of ZoomerMedia. The Catholic media foundation Salt + Light TV makes the Mass available on its digital satellite service, online and via a new Roku digital streaming channel. People can get the Mass any time they’re ready by calling up the NCBC’s Daily Mass YouTube channel or at canadiandailymass.com.

McManus retires with the satisfaction of knowing how much the Mass broadcasts have meant over the years to thousands of shut-ins and people in the last stages of life. He has no doubt about the future of the broadcasts.

“Don’t worry. It will go on,” he told The Catholic Register. “It’s been a surprising success.”

NCBC volunteers marked the occasion with two gifts to the McManuses. One was a pledge of Masses to be said in perpetuity for the McManus family. The other was a hand-carved wooden lectern which will serve as an ambo in the Loretto Abbey chapel in future Daily Mass broadcasts.

The great thing about the TV Mass concept is that it keeps the Church close to people who need it most, said Walsh.

“We need to be in close proximity to those who can’t get out every day,” said Walsh. “To warm the hearts of the people.”

Other than a continued emphasis on Internet distribution of the broadcasts, Walsh sees no big changes coming for the Daily Mass or the NCBC.

“The main thing is the main thing, and it works very well.”

Comments (1)

Each day i view Daily mass. I would like to if I may obtain the daily Mass Book and how I would go abut it

Eugene Corrigan

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