The Christendom community was saddened to learn that former member of its board of directors, Monsignor Michael Wrenn, died over the weekend.
Msgr. Michael Wrenn, born in 1936, received his B.A. in Philosophy from St. Joseph Seminary in Dunwoodie, NY, in 1957, his M.A. in Catechetical Theology from Manhattan College in 1970, his M.S. in Secondary Education Administration and Supervision from Fordham University in 1973, and his Doctorate in Humane Letters from Notre Dame Apostolic Catechetical Institute in Arlington, VA, in 1988.
He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of New York in 1961, was involved with parish work for seven years, and after seven years of high school teaching and administration, he became Director of Religious Education and the Founder and Director of the Drug Prevention Office for the Archdiocese in 1973. During those same years, Monsignor held memberships in the Chief Administrators of Catholic Education and the National Catholic Education Association (NCEA). He represented the Military Ordinariate of the U.S. on the Board of Directors of the National Conference of Diocesan Directors, served as a Representative of the International Catholic Education Office at the United Nations, and was the Founding Director of the Archdiocesan Catechetical Institute of St. Joseph’s Seminary. From 1980-1989, Monsignor was a member of the Executive Board of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars and contributed to The New Catholic Encyclopedia and to The Catholic Encyclopedia for School and Home. Aside from translating over a dozen books, including works written by Bishop Charue, Fr. Rene Laurentin, Paul Toinet, Fr. Carnignac, and Fr. Francis Dreyfus. Monsignor has authored and co-authored many books including Catechisms and Controversies: Religious Education in the Post Conciliar Years, Flawed Expectations: The Reception of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and Pope John Paul II and the Family.
He was elevated to Monsignor in 1986, and Reverend Monsignor in 1990. Since 1987, Monsignor has been Pastor of the Church of St. John the Evangelist and was Special Consultant for Religion Education to John Cardinal O’Connor. He was a Member of the Board of Directors of the Notre Dame Catechetical Institute from 1990 to 1993, and wa a Member of the Board of Trustees of Christendom College. He was also President of the Historical Commission for the Canonization of Pierre Toussaint. Awards have included: Chevalier of the French Republic in the Order of Academic Palms (laurels) for contribution to French culture, Cardinal Wright Award of the Fellowship of Catholic Scholars, Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem, and Honorary Fellow of Maryvale Institute, Birmingham, England. In 2001, His Eminence Christopher Schonborn, Chancellor, awarded Monsignor an Honorary Doctorate to the Institute for Marriage and Family in Gaming, Austria. In addition to writing and translating scholarly works, lecturing in the U.S., Australia, Brazil, Ireland, England and Burma, Monsignor was also Dean at the Institute of Religious Studies at St. Joseph Seminary (Dunwoodie) in Yonkers, NY.
May eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he and all the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace. Amen.