2010-06-18 / Community

Father Devine Celebrates 50 Years As Priest

Father James T. Devine celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination on May 28 with a gala affair at the Knights of Columbus Hall on Beach 90 Street.

Devine entered Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, Long Island in 1954 and was ordained a priest on May 28, 1960. He was assigned as an assistant at Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament in Bayside, Queens.

In 1978, Father Devine was appointed Pastor of St. Rose of Lima in Rockaway Beach, bringing him back to the place in which he grew up.

In October of 1988, Father Devine was appointed the full time Chaplain to Our Lady of the Skies Chapel at John F. Kennedy International Airport. Father Devine said his experience as a chaplain in the airport was interesting because JFK put the Protestant church, synagogue and chapel all side by side.

In 1995, Father Devine was appointed one of the first Port Authority Police Chaplains. He experienced the tragic aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001.

“We lost at least eight policemen from JFK and many more from the Port Authority,” he said. “I did many of the funerals for those lost during the attacks because I personally knew them.”

Father Devine retired in 2006, but still serves as Chaplain to many organizations including the Knights of Columbus in Rockaway Beach.

“Becoming Chaplain was an honor because it was the late Monsignor Burke that wanted me to fill the position and that’s a tremendous honor,” he said.

After 50 years of being in the priesthood, Father Devine feels that the decision was a good one.

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