Tributes have been pouring in from the church, local community and further afield at the sad news that Bishop Joseph Devine, former Bishop of Motherwell, died yesterday, (Thursday, May 23), at Wishaw General Hospital, aged 82.
Ordained as a priest in Glasgow on June 29, 1960, he went on to study at Scots College, Rome, where he obtained his Ph.D, before taking on the role of private secretary to the Archbishop of Glasgow in 1964.
Bishop Hugh Gilbert, President of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, said: “On behalf of the Conference I would like to offer Bishop Devine’s family our deepest and most prayerful sympathies. During his years as a bishop, he made a lasting and significant contribution to the work of the Bishops’ Conference.
“We ask God to grant him eternal rest after his distinguished ministry as a priest and bishop – 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 Emeritus, Rt Rev Joseph Devine. He served as Bishop of Motherwell for 30 years. 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 he 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 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 date of Bishop Devine’s funeral will be advised to members of the public in due course.