|Sts Philip and James Pastor Named Monsignor; Appointed Director of Clergy Personnel|
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.
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