Born on January 1, 1852 in Dunkirk, New York he was the son of Thomas McNamara and Julia Meehan. He received his early education at St. Mary’s Parochial School and parish in Dunkirk.. On April 17, 1868 he professed his Passionist vows at Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He studied at West Hoboken and Baltimore. He was ordained at St. Joseph’s Monastery, Baltimore, Maryland on December 23, 1874 and offered his first mass on Christmas Day. His first assignment was as Assistant Master of Novices at the novitiate in Pittsburgh.
He then proceeded to preach parish missions. He preached five hundred and ninety-three missions. He also was Rector of Sacred Heart Monastery, Louisville, Kentucky. In 1893 he became Second Consultor and was re-elected to the same position in 1896. In 1899 he was elected Rector of Our Lady of Good Counsel Monastery in St. Louis, Missouri and re-elected in 1902. In 1904 he was again elected Second Provincial Consultor. On October 6, 1917 while preaching a mission in St. Joseph’s Church, Newark, New Jersey he died of a heart attack.