Titular Bishop of Eumenia – Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore
John Michael McNamara was born on August 12, 1878, the son of Michael and Margaret (McNealy) McNamara, in Baltimore. He attended Loyola College in Baltimore prior to entering St. Mary’s Seminary, also in Baltimore. He was ordained to the archdiocesan priesthood by James Cardinal Gibbons on June 21, 1902. After his ordination, he worked not only in the Archdiocese of of Baltimore, but also in the Diocese of Wilmington. In 1919 he founded St. Gabriel Church in Washington, D.C., becoming Pastor of the new church.
Bishop McNamara was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Baltimore by Pope Pius XI on December 16, 1927. He was consecrated on March 29, 1928 by Archbishop Michael J. Curley at the Cathedral of the Assumption in Baltimore. During the next several years, Bishop McNamara served first as Vicar General to the Archdiocese of Baltimore, then served as Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and Washington.
On March 30, 1947 he was named Assistant at the pontifical throne by Pope Pius XII. On January 21 of the following year, he was appointed Auxiliary Bishop and Vicar General of the newly established Archdiocese of Washington. He continued his ministry in the Archdiocese of Washington until his death in 1960.
Bishop McNamara was interested in promoting the canonization cause of Mother Elizabeth Ann Seton, founder of the Daughters of Charity in Emmitsburg, Maryland. Among his other accomplishments, Bishop McNamara is known for ordaining nearly 2,000 men to the priesthood. At the time of his death, he had ordained more priests than any other Bishop still living within the United States. This is due in part to the fact that he officiated archdiocesan and religious order ordinations at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception and on the campus of the Catholic University of America, both in Washington, D.C.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Catholic Bishops in America, 1789-1989, Volume II.