Father Francis J. McNamara, SJ, alumni chaplain for McQuaid Jesuit High School in Rochester, died Jan. 7, 2008, after a brief illness. He was 84.
Father McNamara entered the Jesuit novitiate in Poughkeepsie in 1941 after graduating from Brooklyn Preparatory High School and was ordained in 1954. He first came to McQuaid in 1956 to teach English, religion and Latin. He stayed until 1959, when he was transferred to Brooklyn Preparatory. For the next 26 years, he served as a guidance counselor, first at Brooklyn Preparatory, then at St. Peter’s Preparatory in Jersey City and Regis High School in Manhattan. In 1985, Father McNamara returned to McQuaid to become a guidance counselor for upper-grade high-school students.
In 1995, he was appointed McQuaid’s alumni director, planning alumni reunions and working with the alumni association. He also served as moderator of the McQuaid Jesuit Circles, which comprises mothers of McQuaid Jesuit alumni, and moderator of the parents’ association. He was named alumni chaplain in 2004.
Since the 1980s, Father McNamara also assisted with parish Masses every weekend, most recently at St. Joseph Parish in Rush. He was involved for many years with married and engaged couples, and worked with the Engaged Encounter organization in Rochester. Since October 2007, he was resident chaplain at the Legacy Senior Living Home in Rochester.
Father McNamara’s funeral Mass was celebrated at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Brighton Jan. 10, 2008. Donations in Father McNamara’s memory may be made payable and mailed to McQuaid Jesuit High School, 1800 S. Clinton Ave., Rochester, NY 14618.