To many, Monsignor Tomás Marín was more than a priest — he was a friend.
A pastor as well as a former cardiologist and canon lawyer, Marín died Friday from cancer treatment complications, church leaders announced. He was 62.
Marín had been a priest for almost three decades, and at the time of his death was serving as pastor at St. Augustine Church in Coral Gables. Marín had been diagnosed with cancer in 2017. He planned to be back in the parish in January.
“The archdiocese has lost a good pastor and doctor of souls,” Archbishop Emeritus John C. Favalora said in a statement. “His ministry as chancellor and pastor reflected his medical training as a pediatric cardiologist as well as his legal training as a Church lawyer. He was both caring and competent, and especially so with the sick and dying when that tender side of his personality was highlighted.”
Marín was born in Santa Clara, Cuba, on Oct. 31, 1956. He immigrated to Miami when he was 4 and a year later moved to Chicago, where he attended Catholic grade school.
Despite wanting to be a pastor since a very young age, Marín decided to become a doctor instead, earning a bachelor of science degree from the University of Illinois and graduating from medical school in 1978 in the Dominican Republic. Soon afterward, he moved back to Miami to do research for a Miami cardiologist, according to the Archdiocese of Miami.
It wasn’t until the mid ‘80s that Marín earned his master’s degrees in theology and divinity from St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach. He was then ordained in 1989.
Marin served at St. Agatha’s parish in West-Miami Dade and held weekly mass at Florida International University. He was also on the boards of Mercy Hospital and Holy Cross Hospital and worked at Sister Emmanuel Hospital, a long-term care hospital in Miami that closed Dec. 1.
Years later, Marin went on to study church law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
“During the early years of the AIDS epidemic he was a strong voice within the church to take a stand and get involved. He was about love and compassion, not judgment,” his longtime friend Shedrick Boren said in an email to the Miami Herald. “He built bridges and not walls. He was about bringing people together rather than finding ways to tear people apart. He helped to unify families and bring people to unity. “
Marin was the founding priest of Our Lady of Guadalupe Church in Doral.
His immediate family could not be reached for comment Friday.
Marín is survived by his mother, Maria Elena Marín; his sister, Rosa Elena Marín, of Orlando; and a niece and two nephews.
A viewing has been scheduled for Friday, Jan. 4, from 6 to 10 p.m., at St. Augustine Church in Coral Gables, with a prayer service at 8 p.m.
The funeral mass will be held the next day at 10 a.m. at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Doral, with burial afterward at Our Lady of Mercy Cemetery next door.