Tributes paid after death of bishop who served Motherwell for 30 years

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Bishop Joseph Devine died on Thursday at Wishaw General Hospital after a period of illness.

Tributes have been paid to Bishop Joseph Devine, who has died at the age of 82.

Bishop Devine served as Bishop of Motherwell for 30 years and died on Thursday at Wishaw General Hospital, North Lanarkshire, after a period of illness.

In 1960 he was ordained as a priest in Glasgow and became a bishop in 1977 when he was ordained by Thomas Joseph Winning – whose funeral sermon was conducted by Bishop Devine in 2003.

He served there for six years before moving to Motherwell in 1983, where he remained until retiring in 2013 on his 75th birthday, as is expected of bishops.

Bishop Joseph Toal, his successor as Bishop of Motherwell, said: “All in the Diocese of Motherwell feel the sadness of the death of our Bishop Eremitus, Rt Rev Joseph Devine, yesterday evening. 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, 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.”

Cardinal Winning Funeral
Bishop Devine delivered the sermon at the funeral of Cardinal Thomas Winning in 2013 (Ben Curtis/PA)

Bishop Hugh Gilbert, Bishops’ Conference of Scotland president, said: “On behalf of the Bishops’ Conference of Scotland, I would like to offer Bishop Devine’s family our deepest and most prayerful sympathies.


“During his active years as a bishop, he made a lasting and significant contribution to work of the Bishops’ Conference.

“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.”

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