Ordination part of a ‘long chain going back to St Columba’

Fr. James Devine, lies at the alter of St Columba's Church Long Tower, during his ordination. (DER-1012-GMI-54)
Fr. James Devine, lies at the alter of St Columba's Church Long Tower, during his ordination. (DER-1012-GMI-54)

Newly-ordained priest Fr James Devine is the latest link in a chain stretching back to St Columba, the crowd at Sunday’s ordination were told.

Retired Auxiliary Bishop of Derry, Dr Francis Lagan, ordained the 30 year-old Prehen man in St Columba’s Church, Long Tower.

Dr Lagan said Fr. Devine will be welcomed by priests and parishioners throughout the diocese.

“Our diocese has been very blessed these past eighteen months. Since July 2012 Fr Patrick Lagan, Fr Michael McGavigan and Fr Brendan Collins have been ordained and today you, James, are to join them as a priest of the Derry Diocese. It is truly an answer to prayer that we have four young men to minister to the people of the diocese for many years to come.

“James, you have arrived at this day after long reflection, prayer and the guidance of the Holy Spirit and we are delighted that you have asked to be ordained for the diocese. You will find a great welcome among the priests of the diocese and, may I say, especially from the older priests and from the people whom you will be sent to serve. You will become a link in a long chain of diocesan and religious priests going back to St. Columba and they, too, are with you to day supporting you by their prayers.”

Dr Lagan encouraged Fr. Devine to follow the example of Blessed John Paul II.

“One of the most moving moments of the ordination liturgy is when you prostrate yourself before the altar and invoke a litany of saints whose support you seek today and for the rest of your priestly life. Among them you will call on the help of Blessed John Paul II, soon to be declared a saint in heaven. You could not have a better patron to look after you from heaven,” he said.