Born William Anthony Nevin on November 3, 1901 in Cincinnati, Ohio he was the son of Samuel Nevin and Agnes Lynch Nevin. He was educated in Sacred Heart School, Guardian Angel School and attended St. Xavier High School in Cincinnati.
At St. Xavier he had the occasion to meet Father Roger Auwl, C.P. who was then Director of the Passionist Prep School on Mt. Adams, Cincinnati. Young Nevin attended the Prep and then went to the Passionist novitiate in Louisville, Kentucky the fall of 1919. He professed his vows on October 24, 1923. He was ordained on February 27, 1927.
First he served as Provincial Secretary from 1928 to 1929 then as Lector of Gregorian Chant and Liturgical Music at the Passionist Preparatory Seminary which had then moved to Normandy, Missouri. He continued in the same position even after the Prep moved to Warrenton, Missouri. He served in that position until 1959.
Father Nevin attended the Pius X School of Liturgical Music and received the diploma in Gregorian Chant. He also taught Gregorian Chant at Webster College and Marillac Seminary in St. Louis. In addition he attended St. Louis University.
The liturgical apostolate was an essential part of Father Nevin’s ministry. He composed various Masses for congregational singing. Most influential was the Christmas Mass which he published under the name Norman Dee. He published some material in the vernacular as well. Father Nevin had a close association with Mrs. Justine Ward who supported his efforts in liturgical music. Father Nevin visited Rome and also spent time at Solemnes Abbey in France. At one point Father Nevin tried to form his own religious community devoted to liturgical music. It was called the Mater Ecclesia Society and was established at the Shrine of St. Bernadett in Amelia, Ohio in the mid-1940s.
In his later years Father Nevin served as a chaplain. He was resident chaplain at St. Francis Day Care Center in Normandy, Missouri for many years. He was also chaplain at St. Mary’s Hospital in Decatur, Illinois and Sacred Heart Home at Avilla, Indiana and at the nursing home in Clifton, Illinois.
Father Nevin suffered from pneumonia from 1939 to 1940. In 1948 he had other medical concerns. In 1960 he suffered a heart attack but was able to live at Daneo Hall, at Immaculate Conception Monastery in Chicago for many years.