Bishop William Murphy has announced the appointment of Msgr. James M. McNamara, 68, as Episcopal Vicar of the central vicariate of the Diocese of Rockville Centre. Msgr. McNamara will continue to serve as pastor of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Point Lookout. The office for the central vicariate will be located at Miraculous Medal Rectory.

The Diocese of Rockville Centre is comprised of three geographic regions called vicariates. There are the western, central and eastern vicariates. Within each vicariate there are smaller groupings of between 8-16 parishes called deaneries. The central vicariate is comprised of five deaneries with 45 parishes around the geographic center of the Diocese of Rockville Centre.

An episcopal vicar assists the diocesan bishop by serving as his representative for the territory (such as the parishes of a particular geographic region) or specific activity (such as education, clergy, health care) for which he has been appointed.

“When the Holy Father sent Bishop Libasci to be Bishop of Manchester, I asked Msgr. James McNamara to serve as interim vicar for the eastern vicariate,” said Bishop Murphy. “He fulfilled all his duties there with high praise from priests and people. My brother bishops and I found him to be a wise collaborator and counselor in our pastoral conversations. When the Holy Father gave us Bishop Perez last year, it was normal to have him take over as vicar for the eastern vicariate. Now with the retirement of Bishop Dunne, we need someone for the central vicariate. Msgr. McNamara knows the work, loves doing it and looks forward to continuing this collaboration for the good of the central vicariate and the whole diocese. I thank him for his generosity and welcome him to this position.”

“I am delighted to serve as vicar for the central vicariate while continuing as pastor here at Miraculous Medal Church in Point Lookout,” said Msgr. McNamara. “While serving as interim vicar of the eastern vicariate, I appreciated first-hand the care and competency of Bishop Murphy as our bishop and the good work of the other vicars. I feel privileged to succeed Bishop John Dunne for whom I have great respect. Please pray for me.”

Photo by Gregory A. Shemitz