The New Form Master, Fr. Justin


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Fr. Justin

Nicholas Williamson, Writer

From a young age, Ryan McNamara always wanted to save lives. As a young man in community college aspiring to become a firefighter, he did not realize that he would one day be saving lives spiritually. Ryan McNamara, also known as Fr. Justin, spent his early childhood in the suburbs of Chicago. Growing up, Fr. Justin attended a small public school and played baseball throughout much of his high school years. He originally went to a small community college before transferring to Loyola University in Chicago, where he developed an intense passion for philosophy. Justin’s time in college was truly an eye-opening experience.

“My advice to seniors is to find relationships to get you through, have a faith life, and cling to it like no other.”

It was during his time at Loyola that Fr. Justin realized that he was being called to the priesthood. After graduating, Fr. Justin met a man by the name of Br. William who had been a novice at the Cistercian monastery. Even though he left, William talked about his experience there with such fondness that Fr. Justin felt he could not pass up the opportunity. After spending his time at Cistercian as a novice, Fr. Justin truly felt that this was the place he was being called to spend his life. He took up the name Justin, in devotion to the great philosopher St. Justin Martyr who was converted after meeting an old man interested in philosophy on a beach. Promptly after his ordination, Fr. Justin took a trip to Austria and Hungary, where he visited a Cistercian monastery while learning to speak fluent German. As the new Form Master on campus, Fr. Justin has been tirelessly working to help shape his boys into bright men of the future.

“I didn’t realize how humbling it can be. You get to see the growth in these boys”.