BY Ryan McDougall | May 31 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print


Tributes to Bishop Devine’s role in Catholic education and championing the laity

The former Bishop of Motherwell Joseph Devine sadly passed away last Thursday May 23 following an illness and short stay at Wishaw General Hospital

Bishop Devine served the Church in Scotland for 59 years and was Bishop of Mothwell Diocese for 30 years, following a six-year stint as auxiliary bishop in Glasgow Archdiocese from 1977 to 1983.

Archbishop Emeritus Mario Conti of Glasgow, who served alongside Bishop Devine on the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland for 35 years, believes the work the former Motherwell bishop did for Catholic education in Scotland will be his legacy.

Archbishop Conti said: “Bishop Joe Devine was appointed an auxiliary bishop of Glasgow Archdiocese at the age of 39 and was consecrated at St Francis’ Church Glasgow only a few weeks after I had been ordained a bishop in Aberdeen Diocese, so we worked alongside one another for a very long time.

“Bishop Devine was very competent and I was always impressed by his spirituality and faithfulness to the Church.

“He was instrumental in establishing the Scottish Catholic Education Service and he would be very satisfied with the Caritas Award, which we celebrated this week at the Clyde Auditorium.

“It was Bishop Devine in Motherwell Diocese who appointed and shaped the Religious Education team in Motherwell who have done so much good for SCES, therefore laying the foundations of so much of the fruits we see today.

“It is his work within education within the Church in Scotland that is part of his legacy as he did so much to ensure that the Catholic education system was maintained and served by faithful teachers.”



Bishop Devine was the first bishop in the United Kingdom to appoint a layperson to a diocesan chancellor position.

This week, Frank Cassidy, 85, who served as Motherwell Diocese chancellor from 1997 to 2014, paid tribute to the former bishop.

He said he took on the role not long after his wife died, as he was looking for something to do in retirement.


Terrific success

“One month after my wife died Bishop Joe phoned me and asked if I could come and speak with him at the office,” the parishioner of St John the Baptist Church, Uddingston, said.

“When I got there he offered me the chancellor’s position and I was there for 18 years. Bishop Devine was always very pleasant to me throughout my time working in the office and was always keen on attending events particularly in education, where he established pre-confirmation visits and later of course SCES, which has been a terrific success.”



Bishop Devine’s funeral will take place on Monday June 3 at 12pm at Our Lady of Good Aid Cathedral, Motherwell.

His remains will be received into the Diocesan Offices in Coursington Road on Sunday June 2 at 9am to allow the faithful to pay their respects, and will later be received into the Cathedral of Our Lady of Good Aid for the Service of Vigil and Reception that same day at 5pm.

Following the Requiem Mass on Monday after the interment in the cathedral grounds refreshments will be served in St Bride’s Hall.

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