The Rev. D. Harvey McIntyre, an outspoken advocate of civil rights who died of an apparent heart attack here Sunday, has been characterized as a man who "brought the gospel to the public debate."
Father McIntyre, 59, was founding director of the Washington State Catholic Conference.
"He was a pioneer in helping the church address the social issues of our day," said Seattle Archbishop Thomas J. Murphy. "His gifts and talent, and especially his spirit, were directed toward finding a response to human needs."
As the church's chief advocate to the state Legislature, Father McIntyre lobbied on behalf of the rights of farm workers, Native Americans, families, children, prisoners and the terminally ill.
He also worked to remove tax penalties from parochial schools and to ensure that private education received federal benefits.
Father Jim Picton, pastor of Seattle's St. John parish, where Father McIntyre assisted, described his colleague as a joyful, intelligent man.
"His laugh was notorious," Picton said. "You could hear Harvey laughing a block away."
Born in Vancouver, B.C., Father McIntyre entered St. Edward's Seminary in Kenmore in 1951. He completed his studies at the adjacent St. Thomas Seminary and was ordained a priest in 1959 by the late Archbishop Thomas Connolly.
Father McIntyre served two years as assistant pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Parish in Seattle. Following that assignment, he was sent to Catholic University in Washington, D.C., where he earned a canon law degree in 1963.
Returning to Seattle, Father McIntyre threw himself into the civil-rights movement as administrator and then pastor at Immaculate Conception Church, an inner-city parish.
"He stuck his neck out many, many times for people of color," said parishioner Fred Cordova, a Filipino-American.
Father McIntyre also directed Project Equality, a Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle affirmative-action program. Additionally, he served as Seattle's first hearing examiner for fair-housing violations and put in 10 years on the Seattle Human Rights Commission.
"He was the Catholic Church on the civil-rights issues of the 1960s and 1970s," said Picton.
In 1973, Father McIntyre became pastor of St. Edwards, another inner-city parish. He took over as director of the Washington State Catholic Conference in 1976 and served until 1988.
After leaving his post with the Catholic Conference, he assisted at St. John and worked as a canon lawyer on the archdiocesan marriage tribunal.
Last fall, he was named executive director of the Washington Federation of Independent Schools.
A longtime mariner, Father McIntyre lived at Shilshole Bay Marina aboard his boat, The Islander.
He is survived by a sister, Vivienne Zorich of Shelton, and a brother, Leo McIntyre of Seattle.
A vigil service is scheduled for 7:30 tonight at St. John Catholic Church, 121 N. 80th St. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Archbishop Murphy at 1 p.m. tomorrow at St. John.