Alumni Association of The Pontifical North American College

William Bevington

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BEVINGTON, The Reverend Monsignor William Stock, died peacefully on June 20, 2012 at Alive Hospice in Nashville. Born on January 29, 1925, in Nashville, Monsignor Bevington was the son of the late John Laurence and Mary Catherine (Halloran) Bevington. His brothers John, Richard and Milton and his infant sister, Mary Leyden, predeceased him. Monsignor Bevington attended the Cathedral of the Incarnation in the early grades and was then among the first students at Overbrook School, which his mother had been instrumental in founding. Graduating from Father Ryan High School in 1942, he matriculated at the University of Notre Dame and joined the Navy's V-12 program there. He earned his bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering in 1945, a few months after his twentieth birthday. After brief service in the Navy, he joined McDonnell Aircraft in St. Louis. He then decided to become a priest and, after a year at St. Ambrose Seminary in Iowa, entered the Pontifical North American College in Rome, Italy. He was ordained in Rome in the College's chapel on December 8, 1951. He treasured his association with his classmates and maintained friendships over six decades. From 1952 to 1958, Monsignor Bevington taught at Father Ryan High School while also assistant pastor at St. Ann's and later at St. Edward's in Nashville, and chaplain at St. Cecilia's, the Dominican sisters' motherhouse. In 1958, he moved to Memphis where he taught physics, mathematics and religion at Catholic High School for Boys For four years, he had simultaneous pastoral duties at Immaculate Conception (now the Cathedral), Blessed Sacrament and St. Michael's. In 1962, while continuing on the faculty at Catholic High, he became chaplain in residence at St. Peter's Home for Children. In 1965, he moved to Chattanooga to serve as principal of Notre Dame High School and pastor of St. Francis Church, a predominantly African-American congregation. Monsignor Bill returned to Nashville in 1967 to become assistant pastor at the Cathedral. At his next stop, Murfreesboro (1969), he was pastor at St. Rose of Lima, chaplain for the Newman Club at Middle Tennessee State University, chaplain at the Veterans Administration Hospital and substitute chaplain at Fort Campbell. In 1970, he returned to Nashville as pastor at Holy Rosary. In 1980 he moved to Immaculate Conception in Clarksville. From 1982 to 1989 he was back in Nashville as pastor at St. Henry's. In 1989 Monsignor began his longest assignment-nineteen productive years-as pastor of Our Lady of the Lake in Hendersonville. He moved the church to its present location on 31 acres and raised the millions to construct a worship space, meeting rooms, class rooms-space to accommodate an active parish whose current membership is now about 2,000 families. At his retirement party in 2008, the outpouring of love from his parishioners demonstrated indisputably that he had built far more than an impressive physical structure; he had built a home. Over his career, Monsignor Bevington has held numerous leadership positions within the diocese including chaplaincies of the Knights of Columbus and presidency of the Priests' Senate. He has served on the boards of Catholic Social Services, Father Ryan High School, John Paul II High School, Catholic Media Productions and Visitation Hospital in Haiti. He belongs to the Downtown Rotary Club of Nashville. Monsignor Bevington is a pilot and a long time member and former president of the National Association of Priest-Pilots. In retirement, Monsignor Bill has filled in for many brother priests at parishes around the diocese. He has kept up with the Priest-Pilots and has even played a little golf. Known for his wisdom, gentle sense of humor and his humility, Monsignor Bevington had a special devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, modeling his selfless service to her Son on her example. Throughout his life he carried out Jesus' command: "Love one another as I have loved you." Survivors include his nieces, Mary Leyden Johnson (Victor S. III), Michael Sayles (John), Carol Parriott (Doug), Doris Wright, Joan Barkve and Mary-Laurence Bevington; his nephews, John (Julie), Richard, William (Martha), Milton (Nancy), Rickey (Robin), George (Kathy), Christian (Tracy), Charles and Justin (Tracy) and a loving extended family, including nineteen grand-nieces and grand-nephews, four great grand nieces and nephews, two sisters-in-law, Frances (Richard) and Paula (Milton). His nephew Peter died in 2003. The family wishes to thank Wanda Dixon and Alive Hospice for the care and compassion shown to Monsignor. Friends who wish to make a memorial contribution may send it to the "Monsignor William S. Bevington Scholarship Fund" at Pope John Paul II High School, 117 Caldwell Drive, Hendersonville TN 37075. Visitation will be held from 4-7 with a vigil service at 7 PM at Our Lady of the Lake Church, 1729 Stop 30 Road, Hendersonville, TN on Friday June 22. Funeral Mass will be at Cathedral of the Incarnation, with Bishop David Choby officiating, on 10 AM Saturday, June 23, followed by burial at the Priests Circle in Calvary Cemetery.

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