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Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem.


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Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem.

Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem.

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)

True Blue

Virtuous Friendship Defies Distance, Disease

By Fred Gallagher

Editor-in-Chief, Good Will Publishers

Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem. (left), and Fred Gallagher

Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem. (left), and Fred Gallagher

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.

Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem., at his writing desk at St. Norbert Abbey

Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem., at his writing desk at St. Norbert Abbey

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!

Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem.

Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem.

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 Staying Faithful
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
All I Own I Owe: The Autobiography of Reverend Alfred McBride, O Praem. | Photo Courtesy of St. Benedict's Press

All I Own I Owe: The Autobiography of Reverend Alfred McBride, O Praem. | Photo Courtesy of St. Benedict’s Press

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
The Compass

Local Norbertine authors new book on priesthood
March 3, 2010
The Compass

For “The Compass”

Official Newspaper for the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay

December 20, 2016 The adoration of the shepherds
November 23, 2016 Hedonism or moral renewal
October 26, 2016 Jesus loves the little Zacchaeus
August 26, 2016 It takes discipline to be a disciple
August 5, 2016 Prepare for Christ’s second coming
July 12, 2016 Just who is our neighbor?
June 9, 2016 Jesus is the center of our spirituality
May 12, 2016 Come Holy Spirit
April 14, 2016 The world is no friend of Jesus
March 18, 2016 The Passion of Jesus begins
February 18, 2016 Intimacy with Jesus changes us
January 21, 2016 How to read the Bible
December 23, 2015 Empower the family
November 25, 2015 ‘Your face Lord, I desire’
October 29, 2015 The saints will shine like the sun
September 30, 2015 Time to rebuild marriage and family
September 2, 2015 Jesus, give us the miracle of listening
July 9, 2015 How Christ formed missionaries
June 10, 2015 The call to evangelize
May 13, 2015 Matthias is chosen for ministry
April 16, 2015 More than a ghost, more than a body
March 19, 2015 Who cares if I break? God does
February 19, 2015 Being Christian and living it
January 22, 2015 The power of Scripture
December 10, 2014 God never tires of forgiving us

In the News

Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem. (center), presented award by Most Rev. David L. Ricken, Bishop of Green Bay (right) and event emcee Fr. Francis "Rocky" Hoffman, JCD (left)

Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem. (center), presented award by Most Rev. David L. Ricken, Bishop of Green Bay (right) and event emcee Fr. Francis “Rocky” Hoffman, JCD (left)

In March 2016 author and catechist Fr. Alfred McBride, O. Praem., was honored at Relevant Radio Green Bay’s “Christ Brings Hope Award Dinner.”

Read the full story »

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
The Compass

News, Honors and Distinctions (page 13)
Fall/Winter 2011
Abbey Magazine

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