ROCKVILLE CENTRE, NEW YORK, June 21, 2007—Pope Benedict XVI conferred the papal honor of monsignor on Father Brian J. McNamara, pastor at Sts Philip and James parish, St. James, N.Y.
“I was very shocked and surprised,” Msgr. McNamara said. “It’s a nice honor for the parish as well.”
The Most Reverend William Murphy, Bishop, Diocese of Rockville Centre, also appointed Msgr. McNamara director of Clergy Personnel, effective June 27, 2007. The director is responsible for the placement and wellbeing of all priests and deacons in the diocese.
Born in Jamaica, N.Y., and raised in Hicksville, N.Y., Msgr. McNamara attended St. Pius X Preparatory Seminary, then in Uniondale, N.Y. He earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception, Douglaston, N.Y. and a bachelor’s degree in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome. In 1995, he earned a master’s degree in family counseling from Iona College, New Rochelle, N.Y.
Msgr. McNamara was ordained into the priesthood on June 29, 1984. His first assignment was St. Patrick parish, Bay Shore, N.Y., followed by Our Lady of Grace parish, West Babylon, N.Y. In 1992, he was appointed chaplain at St. Anthony High School, South Huntington, N.Y. In 1998, he was appointed associate pastor at St.Joseph parish, Garden City, N.Y. He also served as temporary administrator of St. Pius X parish, Plainview, N.Y. for six months in 1995.
Msgr. McNamara has served at Sts Philip and James parish since 2002 and has been pastor there since 2003.
“I love being a pastor,” he said. “You have a certain vision of where you want the parish to go and you’re able to implement that vision.”
He has been a U.S. Air Force Reserves chaplain for 23 years. The 2006 recipient of the Outstanding Reserve Chaplain of the Year Award, Msgr. McNamara has spent his weekends traveling all over the nation and to such countries as Spain and Germany. He also travels with the U.S. Air Force for about three weeks every summer.
“I find the military people very honorable people,” he said. “I find them hardworking and very religious.”
Msgr. McNamara also coordinates two retreats at Sts Philip and James: Retrouvaille, a marriage retreat; and Gennesaret, a retreat for the seriously and chronically ill.
He is a fan of the New York Yankees and the New York Giants and enjoys seeing Broadway shows.
Msgr. McNamara has three brothers. One is his fraternal twin.
Editor’s Note: Photo Courtesy of The Long Island Catholic/Greg Shemitz
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About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
Celebrating its Golden Jubilee, the Diocese of Rockville Centre (www.drvc.org) was formed in 1957 and covers 1,198 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.4 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 2.8 million). There are 134 parishes in 115 towns. Last year over 18,000 baptisms, 18,000 confirmations, 19,000 first communions and 4,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are approximately 22,000 students in Catholic elementary schools; 13,000 in secondary schools and 3,300 in higher institutions. There are 69 Catholic elementary and high schools and one Catholic college in the diocese. There are also 120,189 total students in religious education. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. Last year, Catholic Charities assisted more than 59,000 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. (4/20/07)
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