McNamara, Thomas (DNB00)

McNAMARA, THOMAS (1808–1892), Irish catholic divine, was born near Slane, co. Meath, in 1808. He was educated at Navan Seminary and afterwards at Maynooth College, where he was ordained in 1833. In 1834 he and some associates established Castleknock College, in co. Dublin, and after affiliating the college in 1839 with the Congregation of the Mission, an order founded by St. Vincent de Paul, commenced to give missions throughout Ireland. McNamara took a great interest in the deaf and dumb, made a special study of the modes of educating them, and wrote pamphlets on the subject. In conjunction with others he founded the Catholic Institution for Deaf and Dumb Mutes at Cabra, near Dublin, in 1846. He was appointed superior of Castleknock College and visitor of the Irish Province of the Congregation of the Mission in 1864, and in 1868 was made rector of the Irish College in Paris, which post he filled for over twenty years, resigning it in 1889. He died at St. Joseph's, Blackrock, co. Dublin, on 8 March 1892, and was buried on the 11th in the cemetery at Castleknock.

McNamara was the author of the following works, which were written almost entirely for the catholic clergy: 1. ‘Programmes of Sermons and Instructions,’ Dublin, 1881, crown 8vo. 2. ‘Sacred Rhetoric, or the Art of Rhetoric as applied to the Preaching of the Word of God,’ Dublin, 1882, crown 8vo. 3. ‘Enchiridion Clericorum: being a Rule of Life for Ecclesiastics,’ Dublin, 1882, crown 8vo. 4. ‘Allocutions, or Short Addresses on Liturgical Observations and Ritual Functions,’ Dublin, 1884, crown 8vo. 5. ‘Pax Vobis: being a Popular Exposition of the Seven Sacraments,’ Dublin, 1886, crown 8vo.

[Freeman's Journal, 10 March 1892; Irish Daily Independent, 10 March 1892; College Chronicle (Castleknock), June 1892, pp. 5–6.]

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