Our beloved Pastor, Father Devine, passed away in July. The following tribute was written, by request, by Joe Gnias. Father Devine was a friend to many of us. As you read the words below, I think you will agree, that they capture Father’s persona wonderfully.–Editor
Reader’s Digest used to run a feature called “The Most Unforgettable Character I Ever Met”. The stories featured profiles of people who had enriched the lives of the storyteller and became etched in their memory. Father Daniel Devine, who passed away in July, would have made a great subject for that series.
Father came to our parish in 1993 and soon put his personal stamp on all things Assumption. A true ‘man of the people’, he epitomized leadership of a welcoming faith community and oversaw parish groups with his own special brand of advice. During his time here, the church was remodeled (remember the steel girder decor?), and we (finally) got air conditioning and a gym. But Father’s greatest legacy is his love of God and scripture. Preaching was his calling, and he had a clear view of what God wanted of us and for us, and helped us to realize that for ourselves, often ending his ‘suggestions’ with ‘would you agree?’
Father lived simply and went about his work with little fanfare. Glasses perched on top of his head, he connected with people individually in a way that seemed effortless. There was only one accomplishment of which he boasted – he had the longest tenure of any pastor at Assumption. And he still found time for one other passion – golf.
As part of the parish’s 50th Anniversary celebrations, there was a talent show called “Gift of the Arts”. Father even sang in one skit with the eighth graders – (‘Kids – why can’t they be like we were, perfect in every way’). The show’s finale was a reworking of ‘My Way’ retitled ‘Devine’s Way’ and the closing lines of that song may best capture Father’s influence on Assumption – “the record shows, what Feasterville knows, we do it Devine’s Way”.
PS – Words from Matthew 25:23 (yes, we were paying attention!) come to mind at this time –
“Well done, good and faithful servant”