24 May 2019, The Tablet

Former bishop of Motherwell Joseph Devine dies aged 82


He was a generous and wise pastor of souls and as a young priest I learned a great deal from him


Former bishop of Motherwell Joseph Devine dies aged 82

Bishop Joseph Devine
Photo: Twitter

Tributes have been paid to Bishop Joseph Devine, former Bishop of Motherwell in Scotland, who died on 23 May at Wishaw general Hospital, aged 82.

Bishop Hugh Gilbert, 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 24 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 Devine, who was born in Glasgow in 1937, was ordained as a priest there in 1960. He held the role of  Private Secretary to the Archbishop of Glasgow, 1964-65 before becoming an assistant priest at St. Robert Bellarmine in Glasgow, 1965-67. After five years at St. Joseph’s, Helensburgh, he went on to become Assistant chaplain at the University of Glasgow. He was ordained Bishop by Thomas Joseph Winning, Archbishop of Glasgow in St. Francis’ Church Glasgow, 31 May, 1977 and later translated to Motherwell on 13 May 1983. Bishop Devine retired in May 2013 after 30 years as Bishop of Motherwell.

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 6 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 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”

The church have said that the date of his funeral would be "advised in due course".


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