Sunday the 9th of May the ends of the earth

“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Church pays tribute to Bishop Joseph Devine, who has died aged 82

Tributes have been paid to Bishop Joseph Devine, former Bishop of Motherwell, following his death at the age of 82.

Bishop Devine, who served as the Bishop of Motherwell for three decades, died on Thursday 23rd May at Wishaw General Hospital.

The Bishop of Aberdeen, Hugh Gilbert, who is also president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland said: “On behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland I would like to offer Bishop Devine’s family our deepest and most prayerful sympathies. During his active years as a bishop, he made a lasting and significant contribution to work of the Bishops’ Conference. I will pray for the repose of his soul and celebrate Mass for him today (Friday 24th May).

“We ask God to grant him eternal rest after his distinguished ministry as a priest and bishop in Scotland – and give thanks for all that he did for the Church in our country over the past 59 years of his priesthood. May God rest his soul.”

Bishop Joseph Toal, Bishop Devine’s successor as Bishop of Motherwell said: “All in the Diocese of Motherwell feel the sadness of the death of our Bishop Eremitus, Rt Rev Joseph Devine, yesterday evening. He served as Bishop of Motherwell for 30 Years, and for six years before that as Auxiliary Bishop of Glasgow Archdiocese, so we acknowledge and give thanks to God for his faithful and very full ministry as a bishop and priest.

“I heard of the news of his death in Wishaw General Hospital as I was about to celebrate the Sacrament of Confirmation, something which Bishop Devine celebrated hundreds of times, and it is for this that many in the diocese remember him best. Through his years as Bishop Devine served the Catholic Church in Scotland through his full participation and valued contribution to the work of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, particularly in regard to Catholic education.

“Although he was very ill through the last days of his life he was still very alert and very much himself. I suspect he would have liked to have lived another couple of days to know the outcome of Saturday’s Scottish cup final. I thank those who nursed him through his last week on earth and those who attended to him at home through the years since his retirement. We commend his soul to God and look forward to celebrating his Funeral and giving thanks for all he offered to the Lord and his people as priest and bishop. May he rest in peace.”

Archbishop Leo Cushley, Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh and a former priest of the Diocese of Motherwell said: “I will always remember Bishop Joseph Devine with affection and respect. He was a generous and wise pastor of souls and as a young priest I learned a great deal from him. He dedicated himself generously to celebrating Word and Sacrament, especially among the young people of Motherwell, and we owe him a great debt of gratitude. May he rest in peace.”

Born in Glasgow on 7th August 1937, Bishop Devine was educated at St Ninian’s Primary School, Kirkintilloch; St Mary’s College, Blairs; and St Peter’s College, Cardross.

He was ordained a priest in Glasgow on 29th June 1960, and studied at the Scots College, Rome and the Gregorian University, Rome.

From 1964-65 he served as private secretary to the Archbishop of Glasgow. He was assistant priest at St Robert Bellarmine, Pollok, Glasgow from 1965–67 and at St Joseph’s, Helensburgh from 1967–72. He was on staff at St Peter’s College, Cardross from 1967–74.

He served as assistant chaplain at the Catholic Chaplaincy at the University of Glasgow from 1974-77 and served on the staff of the Episcopal Vicar for the Lay Apostolate from 1974-83.

He was appointed as auxiliary bishop on 5th May 1977, aged 39 and was ordained bishop by then-Archbishop of Glasgow, Thomas Joseph Winning, in St Francis’ Church, Gorbals, Glasgow, on 31st May 1977. He was translated to the Diocese of Motherwell on 13th May 1983, aged 45, and served there until his retirement on 31st May 2013, having handed his resignation to the Vatican on 7th August, 2012, his 75th birthday, as required by Canon Law.

Picture: Bishop Joseph Devine.