BY Daniel Harkins | May 24 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

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‘A generous, fierce and loyal defender of the Faith’ – tributes on death of Bishop Devine

Bishop Joseph Devine has been described as a generous, fierce and loyal servant as tributes from SCIAF and Scotland’s hierarchy poured in for the late former Bishop of Motherwell.

Bishop Hugh Gilbert, president of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, said that during his active years as a bishop, Bishop Devine ‘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 May 24 May,” he said. “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.”

The former Bishop of Motherwell died on Thursday May 23 in Wishaw General hospital.

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, 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 Motherwell Diocese, 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”

Archbishop Philip Tartaglia of Glasgow said: “I served on the Bishops’ Conference with Bishop Devine. He was a congenial and urbane colleague, vastly experienced, politically astute and not afraid to enter the public square to promote and defend Catholic interests. May he rest in peace”

SCIAF director Alistair Dutton said: “Bishop Devine was a great friend of SCIAF, just like he was to the people of Motherwell Diocese for whom he was a fierce and loyal servant. His passion for the Church, his people and the vital role education plays in Scotland and all over the world continue to inspire us. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and his successor, our Bishop-President Joseph Toal.”

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