St. Cyril of Jerusalem Parish,15520 Ventura Boulevard, Encino, California - St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church, 15520 Ventura Boulevard, Encino, California 91436
Reverend Monsignor Cyril Navin
Monsignor Cyril Navin was born in the quiet, peaceful Village of Clare Castle, County Clare, Ireland, on July 07, 1921. On the Church calendar at the time, July the 07th was the Feast of SS. Cyril and Methodius. Msgr. Navin's devout and pious Catholic parents took their son's name after the saint of the day. Msgr. Navin missed by a heartbeat the name Methodius !
Msgr. Navin’s parents were Charles and Elizabeth Navin. Charles was born and spent much of his younger years in County Kilkenny, Ireland, before his family moved to County Cork, Ireland. He was a police officer which, at the time meant he was in the Royal Irish Constabulary. He was assigned to Ennis, County Clare close to Clare Castle. He and Elizabeth met and married. From time to time his affiliation with the RIC would raise suspicions but, Elizabeth and her family were such fierce republicans that any doubts about Charles were brushed aside.
Msgr. Navin entered All Hallows College in Dublin, Ireland. The seminary was established for the purpose of educating and training Irish priests to be sent out of Ireland to serve Irish émigrés living in various parts of the English speaking world. He was ordained to the priesthood on the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, June 24, 1945, for service of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. World War II had ended the previous month and transportation priority was given to the troops returning to the United States and Canada. And so, Msgr. Navin did not arrive in Los Angeles, California until 1946.
His first assignment was to Msgr. Thomas O'Sullivan of Visitation Church in Westchester, California. Msgr. O'Sullivan was a fiery personality and that assignment lasted two years and nine months.
The next assignment was to Msgr. Joseph L. Bauer of St. Patrick Church in North Hollywood, California. The postwar boom in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles was in full swing and was populating with young families and young children. Msgr. Bauer oversaw the Lord's vineyard of St. Patrick's with his very own irrepressible and spontaneous manner, a legend which survives to this day. Msgr. Navin spent 14 years with Msgr. Bauer an assignment which was terminated only with the death of Msgr. Bauer in 1963.
From the San Fernando Valley to the coast to Fr. Hugh Regan of St. Lucy Church in Long Beach, California. The usual coastal morning weather reportedly captured the rectory of St. Lucy’s, cloudy and overcast.
Late in 1966 there was a rumor going around Los Angeles that the priest on Santa Catalina Island wished to leave the island. Msgr. Navin was at the level of seniority where priests were given parishes and pondered whether he should apply for a pastorate, specifically Santa Catalina Island. He drove to Newport Beach, California to seek the counsel of Msgr. John Dunne, the former editor of The Tidings. While Msgr. Navin explained the scene and the lay of the land, Msgr. Dunne fortified himself with something tall and cool. When Msgr. Navin finished, Msgr. Dunne paused for an ecstatic moment and then cried out, "Will men evermore live on islands?" Falling to his knees, Msgr. Dunne implored Msgr. Navin, "I ask you, I beg you, call Hawkes and ask !" In the summer of 1967 Msgr. Navin was appointed pastor of St. Catherine Church in Avalon on Santa Catalina Island.
Msgr. Navin reveled in the peace and unspoiled beauty of Santa Catalina Island. He would swim, fish, hunt and explore the interior of this kingdom by the sea. His time on Santa Catalina Island ended only because Cardinal Timothy Manning asked him to take St. Cyril of Jerusalem Church in Encino, California. He resisted as long as he could and said yes because, "He is the bishop and Lowe him obedience." Msgr. began his many years at St. Cyril's on February 05, 1971. Four days later, Mother Nature gave the San Fernando Valley an early morning wake-up call with the shaking of the Sylmar earthquake.
During his time as pastor of St. Cyril's, Msgr. Navin has had as his associates or offered hospitality to; Fr. Gerald Tellers, Fr. Joseph Cosgrove, Fr. Clinton Hagenbach, Fr. Robert Studeny, SVD, Fr. Gerald Leech, CSSP, Msgr. Michael Ryan, Fr. John Daly, Fr. Raymond Saplis, Fr. Brian Delaney, Msgr. Paul Dotson, Fr. Michael Wakefield, Fr. Kenneth Sullivan, Fr. Michael Bums, Fr. Henry J. Johnson and Msgr. Robert Howard.
The Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet staffed St. Cyril of Jerusalem School from its opening through Msgr. Navin's pastorate. The principals who worked with Msgr. Navin were; Sr. Eileen Mary, Sr. Suzanne, Sr. Claire Patrice and Sr. Carol Francis. Each of them, as well as all the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet who were with Msgr. Navin appreciated his kindness and sense of humor. And, there isn't a student from any of the parish schools of Msgr. Navin's assignments who doesn't remember Msgr's ability to take off a student's nose or make a coin emerge from a student's ear.
Early in the afternoon of September 13, 1984 Cardinal Timothy Manning of the Archdiocese of Los Angeles telephoned Msgr. Navin to inform him that he was named a Prelate of Honor, carrying with it the title of Monsignor.
Anticipating his 75th birthday, Msgr. Navin submitted his resignation as pastor of St. Cyril's and retired effective July 01, 1996. Msgr. Carl F. Bell was named the new pastor and Msgr. Navin welcomed the surrendering of administrative responsibilities and devoted the rest of his days to the priestly ministry of saying Mass, hearing confessions, visiting the sick, visiting the students in the school and relieving the priest on Santa Catalina Island so that priest could spend a few days on the mainland.
The end of Msgr. Navin's earthly life came quickly and unexpectedly. The Thursday before Palm Sunday, Msgr. Navin played 18 holes of golf with his retired pastor friends in Ventura, California. On Tuesday morning of Holy Week, the pain in his back due to arthritis and spinal stenosis was such that he could not get out of bed and was taken to Providence~St. Joseph's Medical Center that night. He left there for two weeks in Providence~St. Elizabeth Care Center and returned to the St. Cyril’s rectory the second Friday in May. For the next twelve days he was improving with physical therapy. Without warning, the back pain returned and grew steadily more ferocious. Back to Providence~St. Elizabeth Care Center for a few days and then back into Providence~St. Joseph's. Msgr. was discharged from the hospital to Nazareth House of Los Angeles and was there but for two days and three nights.
Msgr. Navin died in his sleep early in the morning of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist, the 66th anniversary of his priestly ordination and two weeks shy of turning 90 years old.Survived by his brothers; Dr. William Navin of Coventry, England and Fr. Charles Navin of Tubber, County Galway, Ireland, one niece and two nephews.
Recitation of The Holy Rosary was recited Thursday evening, July 07, 2011 and the Funeral Mass was celebrated Friday morning, July 08, 2011 at St. Cyril of Jerusalem, Encino, California followed by Internment at the San Fernando Mission Cemetery, Mission Hills, California.
Donations may be made to Nazareth House, 3333 Manning Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90064.
Years ago, on a summer trip to Ireland, Msgr. Navin stopped in a church to make a visit to The Blessed Sacrament. Adjacent to the Church was the cemetery and he walked among the graves. Msgr. Navin saw this inscription on a gravestone and mentioned it upon his return to St. Cyril's. This is a fitting and lovely way to remember and pray for the wonderful priest that was Msgr. Navin.
“Remember man, as you pass by.
Image of artwork in header - Used
with permission (one-time use only) from: Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, WI.