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Former Sacred Hearts Pastor Dies

Reverend Monsignor Edmond J. Trench died early Saturday at Southampton Hospital.

The former pastor at died Saturday morning at , according to church representatives.

Reverend Monsignor Edmond J. Trench, who was the pastor from 1988 to 2000, was 81.

It was under his leadership that the church underwent major renovations that included more than $1 million in structural and electrical improvements and more than $100,000 to repair stained glass windows. Another $100,000 was needed to repair the roof, which was in such disrepair that buckets were often used to collect rainwater. 

The expenses were daunting, but according to the church's 100th anniversary memorial book released in 1996, he told parishioners that "big bucks and little bucks built the church" and "big bucks and little bucks are needed to restore our church."

Members rang doorbells and made calls, and when all was said and done, the church raised $1.7 million, enough to turn it into the shining beacon on Hill Street that is about to be designated a Basilica.

Monsignor Trench remained a fixture in the Southampton community even after his retirement in 2000. He was the fire department's chaplain and marched annually in the town's Independence Day parade.

Trench was replaced by Monsignor Jeffrey Madley, who incidentally is leaving the church this June because his 12-year term is up. His replacement is slated to be Father Mike Vetrano of Our Lady of Lourdes in West Islip.

Roger Blaugh March 18, 2012 at 03:07 AM
A giant of a gentle man.
patricia March 18, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Msgr. Trench...Today is a very Sad day...You are going to be missed!!!. We will always hold our many Great memories with you close to our Hearts!!!
David Reich-Hale March 18, 2012 at 12:19 PM
Received this via email on Saturday. I've edited it only to keep the note anonymous, since the reader didn't post this publicly: "Father Trench was the Saint who was sent to heal our Southampton Parish. I met Father Trench at St. Martin of Tours in Bethpage. He was a Patron Saint to my family. When I moved to Southampton in '86 it was such a remarkable coincidence that Fr. Trench was our Parish Priest. He remained a spiritual leader until his passing, way, way to young...needed for something much more valuable, for sure. Always in our hearts."
Amy Goodfriend March 18, 2012 at 10:59 PM
Father Trench was such a special man. We will miss him in our hearts, our homes and leading the Mass. He helped me and my husband overcome our religious differences and build on our common Judeo-Christian beliefs and traditions. His memory will live on in our family for as long as we and our children are alive...
Sr. Mary Meyers March 20, 2012 at 02:41 AM
Ed told me when he went to Southampton "Mary, they'll take me out of here in a Pine Box!" He was my first pastor when I was assigned as a very young and green Sister of St. Joseph to Blessed Sacrament in Valley Stream in 1978. His welcoming embrace the day I took the job literally took my breath away. The day he came over to tell me in March of 1984 that he was moving to another parish was one of my worst there! He was the gentlest of souls, a passionate and loving man who could hear anything and grant absolution or whatever you needed. I have had the pleasure of calling him friend for 32 years. I will miss you Ed. I will miss the crazy cards you sent me on St. Patrick's Day, Valentines Day and anything else you could think of! Rest in peace my friend! I smile to think of your reunion with your beloved friend Bishop Gerry Ryan!

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