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Rev. Ricky Manalo, CSP, Ph.D. is a Paulist priest, a composer, theologian, and author.  He is the recipient of the 2020 Distinguished Catholic Music Composer of the Year Award by the Association of Catholic Publishers, and the 2018 Pastoral Musician of the Year Award by the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. He studied composition and piano at the Manhattan School of Music, theology at the Washington Theological Union (WTU), and liturgy, culture, and sociology at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU), Berkeley, CA.  

Fr. Manalo's music is published chiefly by Oregon Catholic Press. He is known to compose in a variety of musical styles, from contemporary to traditional, and from Western classical to Asian pentatonic.  Some of his best known hymns include:


  • Beyond the Days

  • In These Days of Lenten Journey

  • Pange Lingua

  • Spirit and Grace (and Mass of Spirit and Grace)

  • With One Voice

  • Worthy Is the Lamb

He is also known for pioneering and popularizing Asian Catholic liturgical music in the United States with his hymns, including:


  • Ang Katawan Ni Kristo (Filipino: "The Body of Christ")

  • By the Waking of Our Hearts

  • Many and Great 


His music has been sung during the Papal Masses of John Paul II, Benedict XVI, and Francis.  On Feb. 5, 2019, his Mass of Spirit and Grace was the musical setting chosen for Pope Francis' Eucharistic celebration in the Sheikh Zared Stadium in Abu Dhabi.  This event was the largest gathering of Christians in the history of the Arab Peninsula (160,000+ worshippers, including 4,000 Muslims), and it was the first time a Roman Catholic Mass was ever celebrated "in public" in this region.

He has written over 30 articles, books and chapters in books on a wide range of topics, including liturgy, culture, music, and the intersection of sociology and religious practices.  His first book, Chanting On Our Behalf (revised edition, Pastoral Press, 2015) won the first place award for Best E-Book by the Catholic Press Association.  His second book, The Liturgy of Life: The Interrelationship of Sunday Eucharist and Everyday Worship Practices (Liturgical Press, 2014) was a finalist for the 2015 Excellence in Publishing Awards by the Association of Catholic Publishers. He is a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy, the Catholic Theological Society of America, the International Societas Liturgica, and NPM (board member, 2008-12).

In 2007, his collaborative hymn, That All May Be One In Christ, won the National Hymn Competition of the National Association of Pastoral Musicians (NPM). 

In 2008, Fr. Manalo's course, Asian Liturgies and Devotions, marked the first time this subject was ever taught in a Roman Catholic theological institution in the U.S. (The Franciscan School of Theology, Berkeley, CA).  

Fr. Manalo is a theological consultor for the USCCB and a co-author of the national pastoral plan for U.S. Asian Pacific Catholics, Encountering Christ in Harmony (2018), as well as the USCCB statement on Racism and Xenophobia (May 5, 2020). He remains an advisor to the U.S. Bishops’ Committee on Cultural Diversity in the Church and the Committee on Divine Worship.


As a missionary priest, Fr. Manalo has been to 6 of the 7 continents to do a variety of presentations, from academic lectures, keynotes, and pastoral workshops, to preaching, presiding, and giving concerts. In addition to 48 U.S. states, he has been invited to the following international cities: Abu Dhabi, Al-Ayn, Amsterdam, Auckland and Wellington (New Zealand), Beijing, Dubai, Guam, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Hua Hin (Thailand), London (UK), London (Ontario, Canada), Manila and Malolos (The Philippines), Nairobi (Kenya), Niagara Falls (Canada), Oxford, U.K., Sidney, Singapore, Seoul, Tokyo, and Wurzburg (Germany).  When he is not traveling throughout the world, he resides at St. Paul the Apostle Church in New York City.

Pastoral Ministry Fields 

  • Pastoral Liturgy: Theology, Culture, Catechesis, and Formation


  • Liturgical Music: Composition and Training in Ministerial Skills


  • Liturgical Spirituality: Retreats, Missions, and Days of Recollections

  • Intercultural Communication and Dynamics in Pastoral Contexts

  • Pastoral Ministry, New Media, and Technology

  • Presbyteral Formation: Presiding, Preaching, Singing and Chanting

"Pilgrimage" by Le Thiet Cuong

Academic Arenas

  • Liturgy and Culture: Liturgical Ethnography & Ritual Studies


  • Liturgies and Devotions in Asian Contexts


  • Liturgical Music in Intercultural Contexts


  • Liturgy and the Sociology of Religion (Doctoral Dissertation)

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