BY Martin Dunlop | June 28 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Hats off to Bishop Devine for special gift to pupil and school

Youth Ministry hold retreat led at cathedral in Ayr ahead of annual conference in Scotland

WHAT does a bishop do with his mitre when he retires? This was the question asked by a young pupil from St Leonard’s Primary School in East Kilbride when he discovered that Bishop Joseph Devine was stepping down as Bishop of Motherwell.

On Wednesday May 29, Ciaran O’Meara was watching the news on television as he learned that Bishop Devine was leaving his post as leader of Motherwell Diocese. Earlier the same day, Ciaran had been an altar server at the funeral Mass for St Leonard’s school chaplain Canon Michael MacNamee and had been given the task of holding the bishop’s mitre during the Mass.

On hearing of his impending retirement, Ciaran decided to write to Bishop Devine and ask him what he would be doing with his mitre.

It was to the great shock of Des Timmons, St Leonard’s headteacher, that Bishop Emeritus Devine turned up at the school, unexpectedly, to answer Ciaran’s question.

Bishop Devine presented the school with his mitre as a keepsake on the occasion of his retirement and rewarded Ciaran with the gift of one of his bishop’s skull caps (above).

“This very kind gesture by Bishop Devine brought a smile to the faces of staff and pupils at the end of a very sad school term when we lost our beloved chaplain and parish priest, Canon MacNamee,” Mr Timmons said. “I knew Ciaran had written to Bishop Devine and thought he might receive a letter back but never expected his surprise visit.Our whole school community wishes Bishop Devine a long, healthy and happy retirement.”


—This story ran in full in the June 21 print edition of the SCO

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