SAGINAW — Contest winner Fr. Thomas J. McNamara of the Saginaw Diocese traveled to Rome, Italy, on Friday, Nov. 5, for a weeklong stay after winning the trip as part of a contest by Fireside Catholic Publishing’s celebration of the “Year for Priests.”
Fr. McNamara, who serves as vicar general for the diocese and rector at St. Mary Cathedral in Saginaw, took the trip with four of his fellow priests — Frs. James Carlson, Rick Bokinskie, Richard Jozwiak and Ron Dombrowski.
He won a trip for two, which also included seven nights lodging in Rome.
Portions of his itinerary include visits to the Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s tomb, Galleria Borghese, concelebration of Mass at St. Mary Major, attendance at a papal audience and more.
“I’m very excited to see St. Peter’s Basilica once again,” said Fr. McNamara. “I celebrated Mass there 10 years ago. To be in the home base of the worldwide Church, the same area where St. Peter once roamed, is humbling. I won’t forget the Year for Priests.
“One of the priests in our group goes every year, so he knows the city very well. We’re hoping to get into quite a few places that we normally couldn’t,” said Fr. McNamara.
Fr. McNamara was ordained a priest in 1982 after 19 years as a school teacher in Fenton.