Father Albert J. Nevins, MM
Born: September 11, 1915
Ordained: June 21, 1942
Died: December 15, 1997
Fr. Albert Nevins died in the early hours of December 15, 1997 at St. Teresa’s Residence. He was 82 years old and a Maryknoll priest for 55 years.
Albert J. Nevins was born on September 11, 1915, in Yonkers, New York, son of Albert J. and Brigit (Corcoran) Nevins. He had one brother and two sisters. He attended public grade school in Yonkers, Cathedral College, in New York City, and graduated from Gorton High School in Yonkers in June 1932. During his high school years, he laid the foundation for his life-time fruitful career in journalism when he served as editor of the high school paper and worked for the Yonkers Herald-Statesman newspaper. He entered Maryknoll on September 7, 1932 at Maryknoll Apostolic College (Venard), Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania, passing along to the Bedford novitiate and the major seminary in New York where he was ordained a priest on June 21, 1942.
After ordination, Father Nevins was assigned to the Cultivation Department at Maryknoll, New York, where he served for 37 years. He learned successively under Fathers James Drought, James Keller and John Considine, worked in all phases of Maryknoll’s cultivation and public
relations projects, and was director of press relations and World Horizon Films. He traveled extensively throughout Maryknoll’s Mission Regions and made movies of the mission work in various countries. On April 20, 1953, he was appointed Editor of Maryknoll – The Field Afar magazine and served seven years in that capacity. On June 1, 1960, he was appointed Director of the Cultivation Department and held that position for nine years.
Elected a Chapter Delegate for the U.S. Region, Father Nevins participated in the 1966 General Chapter at Maryknoll, New York. On November 10, 1969, he accepted, with the Society’s permission the editorship of Our Sunday Visitor in Huntington, Indiana. Under his guidance, this national weekly was revitalized. He served in that capacity for eleven years. He also was the Editor of The Priest and other Our Sunday Visitor publications and director of their book publishing operation. He retired as editor and publisher of Our Sunday Visitor on September 29, 1980, remaining on for a year to assist the new editor.
After Father Nevins left Our Sunday Visitor, he moved to Tampa, Florida, near his family members. For the past sixteen years, he was active in journalism, wrote a weekly question and answer column for Our Sunday Visitor under the by-line, Father Sheedy; edited a bimonthly publication of papal documents and speeches, The Pope Speaks; became founding editor of Diaconate, a magazine for thousands of permanent deacons throughout the United States; edited Nova, a monthly homily service; and assisted in pastoral ministry at a local parish.
Over the years recognition and awards were given to Father Nevins. He was President of the Catholic Press Association and for many years he was on the Board of Directors of the Inter-American Press Association, and also served as Treasurer of the IAPA Technical Center He was awarded honorary doctorates by the Catholic University of Puerto Rico and St. Benedict’s College, Atchison, Kansas. He was awarded the Maria Moors Cabot gold medal at Columbia University for outstanding journalistic achievements on October 25, 1961. Among other awards he received were the St. Augustine Award from Villanova University, and the St. Francis de Sales Award from the Catholic Press Association. In 1980, he received the Papal Distinction “Bene Merenti” for his distinguished service in journalism in the United States. His life had been chronicled for many years in Who’s Who in America.
Father Nevins wrote 41 books, some translated into foreign languages, and edited or contributed to a score of others. He wrote hundreds of articles for Catholic and secular publications, movie and television scripts and radio shows. He lectured throughout the United States. He held the rank of Lt. Colonel in the Civil Air Patrol, a U.S. Air Force auxiliary, and served for many years as Group Commander for Westchester County, New York.
Although Father Nevins never received a foreign mission assignment, he had dedicated his whole career to the mission apostolate of the Church, spreading the Word of God and the Lord’s urgent call to mission through millions of words sent to millions of people.
Wake services were held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 17, 1997 at St. Teresa’s Residence Chapel and at 7:30 p.m. at Queen of Apostles Chapel at Maryknoll Center where Fr. Gordon Fritz officiated. Mass of Christian Burial was concelebrated at Queen of Apostles Chapel on Thursday, December 18, 1997 at 11:00 am. Fr. Joseph Veneroso was Principal Celebrant and Fr. Stephen DeMott, homilist. Burial followed at Maryknoll Center Cemetery with Fr. Raymond Finch conducting the graveside service.