BY Ryan McDougall | December 23 | comments icon 0 COMMENTS     print icon print

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Catholics flock to Carfin in remembrance of Joe’s devotion

Catholics recently gathered en masse in Carfin to celebrate a special birthday of a young man who died aged 17 but continues to inspire many in his parish, former school and wider world.

People from near and far attended the fourth Joe’s Devotion event, a night of intercession for Joe Wilson, a young man who is remembered for the devotion to his Faith and for helping others, who died in December 2011 from an undiagnosed heart condition.

The devotion event took place on December 12 at St Francis Xavier’s Church in Carfin, on what would have been Joe’s 25th birthday.

Despite fears the General Election would curb the turnout, some 150 people attended the special celebration of Joe’s life.



Many of the attendees were praying for Joe’s intercession to help them overcome hardships in their lives and the lives of loved ones.

One woman, who wished to remain anonymous, told Joe’s father, Alan Wilson, that his son’s intercession was helping her own son overcome a drug addiction.

Mr Wilson said: “Folk aren’t always specific when they talk about how Joe has helped them but this lady was in contact with me so I knew the background and it’s fabulous news about her son.

“The relief she’s showing, the weight that’s been removed from her shoulders is amazing.

“Very often we hear from people things like, ‘Joe has helped me,’ or ‘Joe’s looking in’—that sort of sentiment, they feel a sort of affinity with Joe and that he’s doing something for them.

“There were two people who came along who are really poorly with cancer, and they told me they’re finding comfort coming to Joe’s events and that it’s helping their frame of mind and how to deal with things.”



Present at the event were school pupils and staff from Joe’s former school, Taylor High School, who enjoyed Mr Wilson’s speech on Joe’s life, decades of the Rosary, and various quotes read from Joe’s Words, an adapted version of his personal diary.

Mr Wilson said: “It was obviously a very sensitive time of the year with his birthday and then his death on the December 20, so at first I had some trepidation about having it on the 12th, but it was absolutely the right thing to do.

“It was such a joyous and warm event, and I think that’s the thing that shines through— it’s a really caring and loving event and everyone’s welcome, and what I love about that is that’s Joe’s character, that’s the person he was.”


‘remarkable’ young man

Sarah Fallon, a long-term friend of the Wilson family, was present at the event. She said: “At the devotions you can really see the best of Joe in what’s going on.

“His Faith was so important to him and being surrounded by others who cared about him or who have heard of his story and his Faith is an amazing experience.”

She added: “Especially for this most recent event to be on his birthday was particularly powerful—emotions were running high but you could feel the comfort that was received by spending the occasion together in prayer and celebration to Joe.

“Hearing more of Joe’s Words being read between decades of the Rosary, and hearing from the children who have been studying about Joe in school make the impact of what’s actually happening very authentic.

“It was a wonderful night to celebrate a truly remarkable young man.”

If you are interested in having Mr Wilson speak at your school or parish, send a direct message to

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