Father Thomas J. Nevin, who served the Roman Catholic Church in Orange County longer than any other priest and founded St. Joachim Catholic Church here, has died at the church rectory after a long illness. He was 85.
"He had no other vocation, no other ambition except the church," said Father Lawrence J. Baird of the Diocese of Orange. "Among his many facets, he was a pioneer in ecumenical and interreligious dialogue in Orange County."
Father Nevin, who was described by his colleagues as a "priest's priest who inspired and befriended his brother priests," died Friday night.
He emigrated from Ireland to California in 1930, and was a priest for 59 years. In 1947, he started St. Joachim's and devoted considerable time to the St. Vincent de Paul Society, a charitable organization.
He also was a founder of the multidenominational Interfaith Council of Orange County, a group which tries to establish better relationships and understanding among people of different faiths.
Visitation will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at St. Joachim. The first Mass will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; the second at 10 a.m. Wednesday. Burial will follow at Holy Sepulcher Cemetery in Orange.
Father Nevin has suggested that donations be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Society of St. Joachim in lieu of flowers.