The first death anniversary of Fr. Mike Manning, SVD was celebrated on December 14, 2017 the exact day of his passing away. In spite of the gusty wind a small group of his friends and family gathered at the grave site in the morning at 10 a.m. at Crestlawn cemetery.
Fr. Biju Thomas, SVD the associate program producer of Wordnet Productions led the prayer service at the grave site. A few of the gathered shared some of their stories and experiences of Fr. Mike Manning. Later the congregation gathered in the hall at Queen Angeles Church, Riverside for the memorial Mass. Fr. Soney Sebastian, SVD was the principal celebrant. Frs. Biju Thomas, SVD and Pavol Sochulak, SVD were the principal main celebrants along with many other brother priests.
During the homily Fr. Soney shared his personal memories of Fr. Mike Manning and acknowledged the support and assistance of everyone in the last year. He said that Wordnet continues to fulfill the dream of Fr. Mike. After the Mass Patrick O’Reily, the Chair of Wordnet Board acknowledged the hard work and the efforts of wordnet staff and volunteers in fulfilling the dreams of Fr. Mike. He also thanked everyone for coming and expressing their solidarity with Fr. Mike and his ministry.
Sr. Pat Phillips, SHCJ, executive director of wordnet through a video presentation launched a capital campaign to build an annex to Wordnet. She said that Fr. Mike was on many channels and did hundreds of programs. But he dreamed of having our own channel. Sr. Pat informed the gathered community that now we have our own streaming channel on the website. Soon it will be available on the television through streaming TVs like, Amazon Fire TV, Google TV, Apple TV, Roku and others. She also shared about the plan of the annex and its construction costs. The annex will include a Studio B, a legacy room for Fr. Mike, an extra office space and a larger storage/prop room. The capital campaign materials were distributed to everyone and some even took extra to give to their friends and other families.
The program was concluded with lunch. Wordnet thanks Fr. Beni Leu and his Associate priests for their generosity in providing the space for the program as well as the SVD lay associates for all the help with arrangements and the food.