Freelance: Retired poet-priest in Irish Echo

My story on Philadelphia priest John McNamee in the Irish Echo on Oct. 8, 2008.
My story on Philadelphia priest John McNamee in the Irish Echo on Oct. 8, 2008.

This story appeared in the Oct. 8, 2008 edition of the Irish Echo, the country’s oldest Irish American newspaper.

PHILADELPHIA – One of the most celebrated Irish Catholic priests in the country has returned home.

After nearly 30 years serving his native Philadelphia archdiocese, author and poet John McNamee retired in June and retreated for six weeks to a friend’s house in Ireland. He returned home last week [Aug 30] and now is ready to decide what will be the next stage of his storied life. What that will entail even he doesn’t yet know.

“I am not going to put an agenda on myself,” McNamee, 75, said. After a lifetime wearing a priest’s collar, he walks a decidedly more secular path than the religious one he has come to know.

“I am anxious to breach those two worlds as best as I can,” he told the Irish Echo in a phone interview.

If the success of his writing career is any indication, he will.