Father Tom McNamara Named New Director of the Permanent Diaconate as Nine Deacon Candidates are Announced
SAGINAW — The Most Rev. Joseph R. Cistone, Bishop of Saginaw, has appointed Rev. Thomas McNamara to serve as director of the permanent diaconate for the Diocese of Saginaw. Father McNamara is a senior priest of the diocese who until last year served as vicar general and rector of the Cathedral of Mary of the Assumption in Saginaw. Father McNamara takes over the role previously filled by Rev. Thomas Fleming, pastor of the recently formed Prince of Peace Parish in Linwood.
Father McNamara has a unique connection with the permanent diaconate. During his nineteenth year as a high school teacher, he began studies in the diocese’s lay ministry program. He was eventually ordained a permanent deacon by Bishop Francis Reh, third bishop of Saginaw. Bishop Reh soon encouraged Father McNamara to consider studies for the priesthood. After graduating from St. John Provincial Seminary, Father McNamara was ordained a priest by Bishop Kenneth Untener, fourth bishop of Saginaw, in 1982.
“I look forward to working with Bishop Cistone and the deacon candidates,” Father McNamara said. “I was blessed to have worked with permanent deacons in Linwood, Mount Pleasant, and Essexville through the years. They serve their parish communities so well and are a blessing to the Diocese and to our Church.”
Nine men who recently completed their one-year aspirancy period have been accepted by Bishop Cistone to begin the three-year path of candidacy in the Diocese’s permanent diaconate formation program this fall. The Mass with the Rite of Admission to Candidacy will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 27 at St. Agnes Parish in Freeland. The following individuals have been accepted to begin candidacy:
• Daniel Corbat, St. Brigid of Kildare Parish, Midland
• Lawrence Deford, Blessed Sacrament Parish, Midland
• Librado (Larry) Gayton, St. Joseph Parish, Saginaw
• Steven George, Holy Spirit Parish, Shields
• Timothy Hartwig, St. Jude Thaddeus Parish, Essexville
• Kenneth Kochany, Our Lady of Peace Parish, Bay City
• Todd Lovas, Nativity of the Lord Parish, Alma
• Stephen Moser, St. Brigid of Kildare Parish, Midland
• Richard Warner, St. John Vianney Parish, Saginaw
The permanent diaconate program involves four years of formation on many levels: human, spiritual, intellectual, pastoral and diaconal. The formation program takes place at the diocesan Center for Ministry, 5802 Weiss St. in Saginaw. Those interested in applying for acceptance in the next class of deacon aspirants should contact the Center for Ministry at 989-797-6607.