Obit on the Rev. Msgr. Edmond J. Trench, who died...

Obit on the Rev. Msgr. Edmond J. Trench, who died peacfully on March 17, 2012 at the age of 81. Credit: Handout

Msgr. Edmond J. Trench, one of the first priests assigned to the Diocese of Rockville Centre when it was created, has died, his family said.

Trench died peacefully Saturday in Southampton Hospital at the age of 81. He had mostly recently been pastor emeritus at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Roman Catholic Church in Southampton Village.

Trench had attended the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception in Huntington and was one of the first group of seven priests assigned to the Diocese of Rockville Centre in 1957, the year he was ordained and the year Long Island churches formed a separate diocese.

"Monsignor Trench was a true leader who led the revitalization of Sacred Hearts and helped countless parishioners build a closer relationship with God through their faith," said Rep. Tim Bishop (D-Southampton), a longtime member of the congregation.

"He also served the broader community as an active member of the Southampton Fire Department and other civic groups, and I share the grief of all Southampton residents at the passing of this great, yet humble, man," Bishop said in an email statement.

Trench was born May 28, 1930, to Charles G. and Adelaide L. Trench of Rockville Centre, devout Catholics who were overjoyed at his decision to join the priesthood, according to his brother, John Trench of Ormond Beach, Fla. He attended Cathedral High School in Brooklyn before entering the seminary.

At an early age he began visiting the local firehouse, just a half block away on South Central Avenue, and he joined as a volunteer when he turned 18, later becoming a chaplain with the department, his brother said. Over the years, he had been chaplain for both the Nassau and Suffolk police departments as well as other fire departments and organizations.

Before Southampton, he had been at Blessed Sacrament Church in Valley Stream, Infant Jesus Church in Port Jefferson, St. Martin of Tours in Bethpage, and served in several positions with the diocese and its churches and schools.

He tried to lend a personal touch to everything, and when doing baptisms he would find a seashell at the beach, use it to pour holy water on a baby being baptized and give the shell to the parents as a token of remembrance, his brother said.

He is also survived by a sister, Marjorie Lipford of Greensboro, N.C. He is predeceased by another brother, Charles.

Visiting hours at Brockett Funeral Home at 203 Hampton Rd. in Southampton are from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday. A funeral Mass will be offered Friday at Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary Roman Catholic Church, 168 Hill St., followed by burial at Sacred Hearts Cemetery on County Road 39 in Southampton.

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