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Founding Pastor of St. Julie Billiart in Tinley Park

CHICAGO (May 6, 2013) – Rev. William J. Devine, a priest of the Archdiocese of Chicago for 65 years, the founding pastor of St. Julie Billiart Parish in Tinley Park and pastor emeritus of Most Holy Redeemer Parish in Evergreen Park, died Friday, May 3, 2013.  He was receiving home hospice care at the time of his death.  He was 90 years old.

Fr. Devine was born in Chicago on June 8, 1922.  He graduated from Our Lady of Grace Catholic School, Quigley Preparatory Seminary and the University of Saint Mary of the Lake / Mundelein Seminary.  He was ordained by Cardinal Stritch in 1948.

For seven years following his ordination, Fr. Devine served as the assistant pastor at Precious Blood Parish in Chicago, which is now closed.  From 1955 to 1964, he was the assistant pastor at St. Sabina Parish on Chicago’s south side, before being named to the same position at St. Tarcissus Parish on the city’s northwest side. He left that parish in 1968 to become the assistant pastor of Our Lady of the Ridge Parish in Chicago Ridge, where he served for five years.

In 1974, Fr. Devine was assigned to be the founding pastor of St. Julie Billiart Parish that was yet to be built in Tinley Park.  He led that parish for the next 14 years, until he was named pastor of Most Holy Redeemer Parish in Evergreen Park in 1987.  He retired from active ministry five years later in 1992 and was named pastor emeritus of Most Holy Redeemer.

His classmate, Fr. Albert Adamich, used the words “devoted to the sick” to describe Fr. Devine’s work in nursing homes on the southwest side, where he ministered as a retired priest.  He also helped out with confessions and celebrating Mass at various parishes when needed.

Fr. John Donohue, another classmate of Fr. Devine, said, “I can’t remember an occasion when I saw him angry,” adding that he was a “quite, faithful man.” Fr. Devine was a recipient in 2011 of the Cure d' Ars Award, named after St. John Vianney, a French priest and the patron saint of priests, given by St. Joseph College Seminary.  The award honors priest who are exemplary in their service to the Archdiocese.

Visitation for Fr. Devine will take place from 3 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, May 7, at St. Julie Billiart Parish, 7399 West 159th Street in Tinley Park.  Most Rev. John Gorman, Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Chicago, will preside at a funeral Mass for Fr. Devine at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, May 8, at St. Julie Billiart.

Interment will be at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Hillside. He is survived by his sister, Mrs. Maureen Bartholomew.

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