October 29, 2009

Fr. McNamara named as Vicar General

SAGINAW - Bishop Joseph R. Cistone today appointed Father Thomas J. McNamara,pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Beal City, to serve as Vicar General for the Diocese of Saginaw.

The appointment, which is effective immediately, is for a term of three years. Father McNamara will continue to serve as Pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish.

Bishop Cistone made the following statement regarding the announcment:

"I am grateful to Father McNamara for accepting this appointment in addition to his current ministry. No doubt, at this point in his priestly ministry, he could be seeking less work rather than greater responsibility. Nonetheless, he has willingly and humbly accepted this appointment."

"Father McNamara has served the Diocese of Saginaw in an exemplary manner. He brings to this new assignment a well-rounded experience in education, diaconate ministry and the priesthood. I am confident that his wisdom, insights and lived ministry will be of great assistance to me and the Diocese as we contemplate the actions necessary to fulfill the mission of the Church here in Saginaw. I will work closely with Father McNamara in addressing the general areas of diocesan life. However, in a particular way, he will have oversight over those areas which directly affect the clergy, namely, our active and senior priests, seminarians, prospective vocations and permanent deacons."

"I take this opportunity to express gratitude to Father James Heller, pastor of St. Stephen Parish, Saginaw, who served as Vicar General during the time Archbishop Carlson was shepherd of this Diocese of Saginaw. Father Heller has been most cordial and helpful to me since my appointment as Bishop of Saginaw and I am personally grateful for his priestly ministry and friendship."

"I ask your prayers, well-wishes and support for Father McNamara as he assumes this new ministry for the Church of Saginaw."

Father McNamara, 71, grew up in Birch Run, where he attended Sacred Heart Parish and graduated from Birch Run High School.

He worked as an American government and American history teacher at Lake Fenton High School in Fenton for 19 years. He holds a bachelor of science degree and master's degree in polictical science, both from Centeral Michigan Universtiy, and received his seminary formation at St. John Provincial Seminary in Plymouth.
First ordained as a deacon by the Most Rev. Francis F. Reh, third Bishop of Saginaw, in 1980, Father McNamara was ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 1982 by the Most Rev. Kenneth E. Untener, fourth Bishop of Saginaw, at the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption in Saginaw.
During his priesthood, Father McNamara has served as an assistant pastor at St. Anne, Linwood (1982 - 1984), and St. Stephen, Saginaw (1984 - 1986). He has served as pastor at Our Lady of Lake Huron, Harbor Beach (1986 - 1991); Sacred Heart, Mount Pleasant (1991 - 1999); St. John the Evangelist, Essexville (1999 - 2005); Ss. Peter & Paul, Ruth, and St. Patrick, Palms (2005 - 2006); and St. Joseph the Worker, Beal City, since 2006.

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