23 March 2007
Fr Peter Devine SMA
Fr Peter “Doc” Devine SMA passed away in Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry Co Down, in the evening of 23 March. He had been in failing health or some time and had needed a dialysis machine in latter months.
Peter was from Molleek, Tullyallen, Co Louth where he was born of 8 September 1933. He received his primary education at the local primary school and later at CBS, Droheda. Feeling called to become a missionary he came to the SMA for his secondary education at Sacred Heart College, Ballinafad, Co Mayo. In 1953 he undertook the Spiritual Year at Cloughballymore, Kilcolgan (Co Galway) and in 1954 began studies at UCC for which he was based at the SMA House, Wilton, Cork. He graduated in 1957 and commenced theology studies in the SMA Seminary at Dromantine, Newry 1957-1961. He was ordained priest on 21 December 1960 at St Colman’s Cathedral, Newry by the late Bishop Eugene O’Doherty.
In 1961 he was appointed to work in the Archdiocese of Kaduna in Nigeria and worked there continuously until 1984, mostly in education as class teacher, school principal and Zonal Education officer. He was forced through ill-health to take up assignments in Ireland. He was first based in Wilton as Bursar until 1987 and then took up residence in Dromantine where he took personal pride in the development and care of the grounds.
He was renowned for his mechanical abilities which stood him well both in Africa and in his assignments in Ireland. A keen sportman he was noted for his interest in greyhounds and in point-to-point races.
Peter is survived by his brothers, Bernard and Patrick and his sister-in-law, Norah, who sadly mourn his passing, as do his nieces and nephews and other relatives and friends.
His remains were removed from the SMA House Chapel at Dromantine, Newry after Community Mass on Sunday 25 March to the Mellifont Parish Church at Tullyallen, Drogheda, Co Louth. The concelebrated funeral Mass was be on Monday 26 March. Bishop Gerard Clifford, Auxiliary Bishop of Armagh, presided and led the prayers in the priests’ cemetery adjoining the church. Fr Fachtna O’Driscoll SMA, Provincial Superior, was the main concelebrant of the Mass and preached the homily. Tullyallen parish priest, Fr Laurence Caraher led the prayers of Final Commendation. More than twenty priests from the Archdiocese of Armagh, the Diocese of Dromore and SMA joined in concelebrating the Mass.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.