November 16, 2009

McNamara named Cathedral rector

SAGINAW - Bishop Joseph R. Cistone announced Sunday that he has named Father Thomas J. McNamara as rector of the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption following the resignation of Father James W. Bessert from the same position.

Father McNamara was named as vicar general for the Catholic Diocese of Saginaw on Oct. 29. His duties as Cathedral rector begin Nov. 30.

Father Bessert's resignation and Father McNamara's appointment were announced to Cathedral parishioners at Sunday Masses through a letter written by Bishop Cistone, who was traveling to Baltimore during the weekend for this week's meetings of the United States bishops.

The text of the letter follows:

To: Parishioners of the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption

My Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I wish to share with you some important information concerning Father Bessert. Recently, Father Bessert asked to meet with me and requested that he be relieved of his position as Rector of the Cathedral. Also, at his request, I have granted Father Bessert a period of time for personal health leave. I ask you to join me in prayerful support of Father Bessert.

Father Bessert has asked me to express the following words on his behalf.

“Please know my affection for you, the dear and faithful parishioners of the Cathedral Parish, as well as my deep gratitude for your many kindnesses to me personally in my ministry as Rector of the Cathedral. I am grateful to Bishop Cistone for allowing me this opportunity to take the necessary time to be renewed in body and spirit. I ask your prayers for me and assure you of a special remembrance in my Masses and prayers.”

Because of the unique importance of the Cathedral in the life of the Diocese, I did not wish to leave the position of Rector vacant for any length of time. Therefore, after consultation with diocesan staff and priests, I have appointed Father Thomas McNamara as Rector of the Cathedral effective Monday, November 30, 2009. Father McNamara is currently the Pastor of St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Beal City and was recently appointed as my Vicar General. Father McNamara brings a wealth of pastoral and administrative experience to his appointment as Rector and I look forward to working closely with him on your behalf. I ask that you extend to Father McNamara the same warm welcome which you have shown to me since my arrival as your Bishop.

I am grateful to Father Bessert for his priestly ministry here at the Cathedral and within the Office for Liturgy. Let us pray together that the days ahead will be for him a time of grace, peace and renewed priestly spirit. If you wish to convey your support to Father Bessert in writing, you may do so by sending your correspondence to him in care of my office.

May our Lord bless all of you and your loved ones and may Mary our Mother watch over you always.

Sincerely yours in Christ,

Most Reverend Joseph R. Cistone, D.D.
Bishop of Saginaw

1 comment:

JustJohn said...

We the faithful parishioners of Mary of the Assumption Cathedral will miss Fr. Bessert dearly, and will continue to hold him up in our prayers.

May Christ's peace be with you Father Bessert.