View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Father Robert McNamara, 1910-2009

I just got word that Father Robert F. McNamara, one of the Diocese of Rochester's great priests and a good, humble and gentle man, died this afternoon at age 98.

He was the Diocese's historian and archivist, having written the definitive history of the Diocese (as well as many other works).

I had the pleasure of interviewing him a number of times back when I was a reporter - including for my series of stories about Archbishop Fulton Sheen, the former Bishop of Rochester.

Father McNamara was always gracious and friendly. He was not only full of knowledge, he also had a wonderful sense of humor.

A Corning native, Father McNamara was born Nov. 3, 1910. He attended Georgetown and Harvard universities, as well as the Pontifical North American College in Rome. He received his licenciate in sacred theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University. He taught church history at St. Bernard's Seminary from 1938 until the seminary closed in 1981.

It was an honor to know him.


Blogger Dr. K said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sorry to hear of the passing of Father McNamara. It was a pleasure to talk to him on the telephone several years ago. He was able to answer all of my questions about the Diocese of Rochester.

Dr. K, while you are reading the history of DOR, could you let me know if was 5000 or 6000 parishioners, who attended Sacred Heart Cathedral on Sunday, in the late 1950's or during the 1960's.

I do remember standing room only, on many Sundays at the Cathedral during the 1960's. We had to kneel on the slate floor at the back of the church. Some things, you never forget.

10:19 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

The funeral is Thursday at St. Thomas the Apostle Church. I won't be able to make it due to work.

6:59 AM  
Blogger cspellecy said...

How ready Fr. Mac was to enter his eternal reward. I feel compelled to finish his book on his dad now, "Good Old Doctor Mac." Reading it will bring him closer.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Father McNamara was a wonderful man. He delivered my brother's eulogy last year -- he had a wonderful way of seeing the world. We all loved him and appreciated his sense of humor and kind ways.

He was the youngest, 90-something year old that I will ever had the good fortune to know.

Go with God, Fr. Mac.

9:37 PM  

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