- “True Blue: Virtuous Friendship Defies Distance, Disease”
By Fred Gallagher
Philadelphia native Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem., was ordained in 1953, and celebrated the 60th anniversary of his priesthood ordination on June 6, 2013.
He holds several degrees; having a diploma in Catechetics from Lumen Vitae, Brussels, Belgium, which he earned in 1963, he also acquired a doctorate in religious education from the Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., in 1971.
Fr. McBride has received honorary doctorates from St. Norbert College and from Belmont Abbey College, N.C.
Throughout the years:
- Fr. McBride has been a high school teacher, novice master, university professor and president, and spiritual director.
- He founded the department of religious education at the National Catholic Educational Association and was named its first executive director.
- The U.S. Catholic Bishops appointed him to write the catechesis in preparation for the second pastoral visit of Pope John Paul II. He served as a special representative to the media during that visit, as well.
- The National Conference for Catechetical Leadership presented their 2011 NCCL Catechetical Award to Father McBride, “in recognition of his sterling example, dedication and enthusiasm in the passionate promotion of catechesis for decades.”
In addition to these and other accolades, Fr. McBride has been as a consultant on the Catechism for the Archdiocese of Boston and was a professor of homiletics at Pope John XXIII Seminary. He has also worked on a series of programs for the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN).
As seen in the Spring/Summer 2017 issue of Abbey Magazine (page 17)
Virtuous Friendship Defies Distance, Disease
By Fred Gallagher
Editor-in-Chief, Good Will Publishers
In the summer of 1988 Frank Sinatra gave a benefit concert in my hometown for a hospital run by Sisters of Mercy. That night Old Blue Eyes introduced me to a special man who would become a lifelong friend. Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem., was at the concert because he had been invited to write a set of family bible stories by my father, Bud Gallagher, the co-founder of Good Will Publishers of Gastonia, North Carolina. Another excellent priest, friend, and talented communicator, Fr. John Bradley, was the project editor who had come to know Fr. Al when he was a young Norbertine priest teaching at Catholic University.
After that first bible story project, Fr. Al continued to write and publish with our company and eventually joined Good Will’s board of directors. When he came to town for board meetings, I would pick him up at the airport, take him to dinner and then to the meeting the next morning. That time together has changed my life.
Through the years I came to learn of the dozens of books Fr. Al authored and his passion for catechetics. I learned of his time as a boy in Philadelphia, taken in as an orphan by an aunt and uncle whom he loved dearly. I know about his Norbertine high school there, of his studies in Brussels and his time as a university president. I learned of his time as professor of homiletics at Pope John XXIII Seminary, his time lecturing for the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) and with Relevant Radio, as well as his time associated with Aid to the Church in Need. I know my friend was the first leader of the Religious Education Department of the National Catholic Education Association. And I heard his stories—great stories!
Once I walked into Fr. John’s office as he was visiting with Fr. Al. I was so excited to tell my dear priest friends about my new discovery, the wonderful writings of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel. After going on about Rabbi Heschel, I asked if either of the two clergymen knew of him. They looked at each other knowingly and, with great humility, Fr. Al said, “Why, yes, Fred. I wrote a book about him.” It had been his doctoral dissertation! We’ve joked about it ever since.
Fr. McBride and I still recall Old Blue Eyes and remember fondly our old friend, Fr. John. Each time I drove Fr. Al to one of our board meetings, I went to confession there in the car. When we learned he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, he joked, “Talk to me now before I go all ga-ga!” I told him it was reassuring to have a confessor who wouldn’t remember my sins. He said, “I don’t remember them anyway!”
I don’t know what the future will be like with my good, good friend. All I know is that from the time we listened to Sinatra together, we’ve been friends and nothing will change that, not distance nor memory nor disease nor death. Ad multos annos, my dearest friend!
Fred Gallagher is the author of three children’s books and a number of volumes on bereavement, marriage, and family life. He is a regular writer for the newspaper of the Diocese of Charlotte, North Carolina.
Books and Other Publications
Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem., has lectured and written widely, with more than 50 books and 200 published articles to his name.
|c1965||Homilies for the New Liturgy|
|c1966||Catechetics: A Theology of Proclamation|
|c1968||A Short Course on the Bible|
|c1969||The Human Dimension of Catechetics|
|c1970||Growing in Grace|
|c1971||The Pearl and the Seed|
|c1973||Heschel: Religious Educator|
|c1975||The Gospel of the Holy Spirit
A Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles
|c1977||The Kingdom and the Glory: The Gospel of St. Matthew|
|c1978||Creative Teaching in Christian Education|
|c1978||Evangelization: The Mission and Ministry of Catholic Educators|
|c1979||Death Shall Have No Dominion|
|c1981||Saints are People: Church History Through the Saints|
|c1983||The Story of the Church: Peak Moments from Pentecost to the Year 2000|
|c1983||Year of the Lord: Cycle A: Reflections on Sunday Readings|
|c1983||Year of the Lord: Cycle B: Reflections on Sunday Readings|
|c1983||Year of the Lord: Cycle C: Reflections on Sunday Readings|
|c1986||Pre-Arrival Catechesis for the Second Pastoral Visit of John Paul II to the United States: Catechesis|
|c1989||Christ our Compass|
|c1990||The Ten Commandments: Sounds of Love from Sinai|
|c1990||The Seven Last Words of Jesus|
|c1992||To Love and Be Loved by Jesus: Meditation and Commentary on the Gospel of Mark|
|c1992||The Gospel of the Holy Spirit: Meditation and Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles|
|c1992||The Human Face of Jesus: Meditation and Commentary on the Gospel of Luke|
|c1992||The Kingdom and the Glory: Meditation and Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew|
|c1992||The Divine Presence of Jesus: Meditation and Commentary on the Gospel of John|
|c1992||A Year of Preparation: World Youth Day ’93 Resource Manual|
|c1992||Catholic Evangelization: A Course Manual for Seminarians and Other Catholic Evangelizers|
|c1993||Images of Jesus: Ten Invitations to Intimacy|
|c1993||The Second Coming of Jesus: Meditation and Commentary on the Book of Revelation|
|c1994||Essentials of the Faith: A Guide to the Catechism of the Catholic Church|
|c1994||A Short History of the Mass|
|c1994||Invitation: The Search for God, Self and Church: A Catholic Learning Guide for Adults|
|c1995||Father McBride’s Teen Catechism: Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church|
|c1996||A Retreat with Pope John XXIII: Opening the Windows to Wisdom|
|c1996||Lessons for Today from the Early Church|
|c1998||The Millennium: End of Time? A New Beginning?|
|c1998||Father McBride’s Family Catechism: Based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church|
|c1999||Images of Mary|
|c1999||Celebrating the Mass: A Guide for Understanding and Loving the Mass More Deeply|
|c2000||Father McBride’s College Catechism|
|c2001||The Ten Commandments: Covenant of Love|
|c2001||Catholic Beliefs from A to Z|
|c2002||Pope John XXIII: True Life and Teachings|
|c2002||Essentials of the Faith: A Guide to the Catechism of the Catholic Church|
|c2003||One Hundred Years of Catholic Education: Historical Essays in Honor of the Centennial of the Nation|
|c2004||Teen Guide to the Bible|
|c2005||The Holy Eucharist Prayer Book|
|c2007||How to Make Homilies Better, Briefer, and Bolder: Tips from a Master Homilist|
|c2008||Daily Reflections for Lent|
|c2009||The Story of the Church|
|c2009||How to Pray Like Jesus and the Saints: A Study Guide for Catholics|
|c2010||A Priest Forever: Nine Signs of Renewal and Hope|
|c2010||Truth for Your Mind, Love for Your Heart: Satisfying Your Hunger for God|
|c2011||Staying Faithful Today: To God, Ourselves, One Another|
|c2012||Holding Jesus: Reflections on Mary, The Mother of God|
|c2012||The Challenge of the Cross: Praying the Stations|
|c2014||Christ, Our Compass: Making Moral Choices|
|c2014||All I Own I Owe: The Autobiography of Reverend Alfred McBride, O Praem|
As seen in the Fall/Winter 2014 issue of Abbey Magazine (page 12)
In 2014 Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem., published his latest book, All I Own I Owe, which is also his autobiography.
The 244-page book includes personal reflections and insights, from his youth to present-day.
Surrounding the release of his book, Fr. McBride spent several months making promotional and book signing appearances in the Green Bay area, including an appearance at a special promotional event held at Cathedral Book & Gift in downtown Green Bay.
Fr. McBride, author of more than 40 books, adds to list
‘All I own I Owe’ is Norbertine priest’s first autobiography
September 17, 2014
Local Norbertine authors new book on priesthood
March 3, 2010
For “The Compass”
Official Newspaper for the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
In the News
In March 2016 author and catechist Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem., was honored at Relevant Radio Green Bay’s “Christ Brings Hope Award Dinner.”
Norbertine author shares lessons learned
This Sunday on CW 14 Focus host Robert Hornacek was joined by Rev. Alfred McBride, O.Praem.
September 19, 2014
CW 14 “Focus” (TV)
A lifetime of learning, teaching brings him joy
Norbertine Fr. McBride, prolific writer and longtime educator, honored by national education group
June 1, 2011