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If the Rev. Monsignor M. Francis Mannion of the Diocese of Salt Lake City could be persuaded to slow down, we might catch him long enough to give him a pat on the back.

Monsignor Mannion was recently awarded an honorary degree from St. Vincent College in Pittsburgh.Labeling that accomplishment the "tip of the iceberg," however, would be the wrong metaphor. In the case of Monsignor Mannion, it's just the latest spark from the fire.

In addition to serving as rector for the Cathedral of the Madeleine in Salt Lake City, Monsignor Mannion has also found time to work with the Ecumenical Council, serve as the theological adviser for the diocese and publish articles - all while keeping a steady schedule of traveling and lecturing. And now the monsignor is preparing two books for publication.

He has been a major voice for generosity at a time when provocation and divisiveness are often the order of the day.

When asked not long ago about his inclusive philosophy, he responded: "The challenge has gone from bridging differences between churches to asking, `How do we live as Christians in modern culture?' "

Monsignor M. Francis Mannion is setting an excellent example of just how that is done.