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Who Inspires Us: Brennan Manning

It's week three of learning about some of the incredible philosophers, psychologists, and authors that inspire our lessons and goals at Alpha Academy. This week, we'll follow Brennan Manning.

Who was Brennan Manning?

Brennan Manning was an American author and public speaker. He was born in 1934 in New York City to an Irish Catholic family. When he graduated high school, Manning attended St. Johns University for two years before joining the US Marine Corps and fought in the Korean War. Upon returning to the US, Brennan Manning attended the University of Missouri, but later dropped out. He then attended Saint Catholic Seminary in Pennsylvania pursuing philosophy and Latin. During his time in seminary, he studied at Columbia University. He graduated from seminary in 1963 and was ordained as a Franciscan priest.

Years later, Manning committed his life to serving the poor as a member of the Little Brothers of Jesus of Charles de Foucauld in Spain and Switzerland. He then spent six months in solitary reflection in the remote desert of Spain.

When he returned back to the US in the late 1970s, he helped establish a ministry and chapel in Alabama for poor farmers. He then moved to Florida to serve in campus ministry. At this time, Brennan Manning left the Franciscan order to marry.

He began to focus his career on writing and public speaking, but his struggles with alcoholism worsened. He sought treatment and suffered two relapses in 1980 and 1993. Even though he remained sober, his addiction interfered with marriage and he divorced. He died in 2013 while living in New Orleans.

What does he teach?

Brennan Manning promotes embracing God's grace by acknowledging your own life story. He discusses what he's learned from his experiences through spiritual reflection. He shares wisdom on his life from leaving the priesthood, addiction, marriage, and divorce.

Where can I learn more from him?

Brennan Mannings most well known work is the book called The Ragamuffin Gospel. This novel discusses how God has no standards. He explains what it means to live by grace instead of performance. Another popular work of his memoir All in Grace. He has published 13 other books in his lifetime. At Alpha Academy, we use his teachings to dive into personal identity.

Take a moment to visit his Facebook page and read the testimonials of all the lives he's changed. Regularly, people leave messages and comments expressing their gratitude for what Brennan Manning has taught them.

"The spirituality of wonder knows the world is charged with grace, that while sin and war, disease and death are terribly real, God’s loving presence and power in our midst are even more real"

- Brennan Manning


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