Former pastor of St. Peter Church in Charlotte passes away
TOWSON, Md. — Jesuit Father James Ashton Devereux, the former pastor of St. Peter Church in Charlotte, passed away Dec. 19, 2011, following a long struggle with Parkinson's disease. A Jesuit for 66 years and a priest for 53, he was 83.
Father Devereux, a priest with the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus (which extends from Pennsylvania to North Carolina), served as pastor at St. Peter Church in Charlotte from 1992 to 1999. His many other ministries included serving as a professor, spiritual director, province leader, writer and theology consultant. He was the provincial of the Maryland Province and was an English professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, Dec. 27, 2011, at St. Matthias Church in Bala Cynwyd, Pa. Burial will follow at Wernersville, Pa.
The son of James A. and Elizabeth Clarke Devereux, he was born in Philadelphia, where he was a graduate of St. Joseph's Preparatory School. He entered the Jesuit Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues July 30, 1945, and pronounced his first vows there on July 31, 1947.
Father Devereux earned his bachelor's degree in 1951 and masters degree in 1954, both from Woodstock College. In 1959, he received a licentiate in Sacred Theology at St. Albert de Louvain in Belgium. He earned his Ph.D. in English from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in 1964.
He was ordained to the priesthood on Aug. 6, 1958, at the College of St. Michael in Brussels, Belgium.
Father Devereux's first assignment took him to St. Joseph's Preparatory School in his hometown of Philadelphia, where he was a teacher of Latin, Greek and English from 1952 to 1954.
After earning his doctorate, he taught English at the University of Scranton from 1964 to 1966 and then at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill from 1966 to 1970. He spent a sabbatical year at Oxford University before returning to teach English at Chapel Hill from 1971 to 1979. His next assignment was at Georgetown University, where he was rector from 1979 to 1984.
Father Devereux also was a consultant for the International Commission on English in the Liturgy (ICEL) from 1965 to 1969, which worked on the translation of the Roman Missal in use until last November. In addition, he served on Georgetown's board of directors from 1973 to 1978.
In 1984 Father Devereux was appointed provincial for the Maryland Province, a position he held until 1990. During that time, he sponsored a province-wide 19th Annotation Retreat, using his own book on Ignatian spirituality, "Place Me With Your Son," in the daily prayers. The 19th Annotation refers to an at-home eight-month program of prayer, contemplation and Scripture studies as outlined by the Jesuits' founder, St. Ignatius Loyola.
Following a sabbatical at Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass., he returned in 1991 to North Carolina, this time to Charlotte. He served first as assistant pastor of St. Peter Church for a year and then was pastor from 1992 to 1999.
In 1999, Father Devereux began working as a spiritual director and lecturer at the university in Chapel Hill. He went to Georgetown University in 2003, where he spent two years as a spiritual director. In 2005, he moved to Manresa Hall in Philadelphia, where he prayed for the Church and the Society until his death.
Notes of condolence may be sent to: his nephew, Blaine Elkins, 8305 Kerry Road, Chevy Chase, MD 20815;
his nephew, Stephen Elkins, 2821 Seclusion Ct., Apt C, Raleigh, NC 27612; his niece, Elisabeth McCord, 70 W. Cedar St., Boston, MA 02114; and his niece, Mary Groark, 39 Sacramento Street, Cambridge, MA 01238.
Dinan Funeral Home of Philadelphia is in charge of the arrangements.
— Catholic News Herald
FROM THE PASTORS
Read and listen to homilies posted regularly by pastors at parishes within the Diocese of Charlotte:
- Fr. Frank Cancro at Queen of the Apostles
- Fr. Patrick Earl at St. Peter in Charlotte
- Fr. John Eckert at St. John the Baptist in Tryon
- Fr. Timothy Reid at St. Ann in Charlotte
- Fr. Benjamin Roberts at Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe
- Fr. Patrick Winslow at St. Thomas Aquinas in Charlotte
- Watch full Masses live and on demand, listen to homilies and reflections from Sacred Heart Church in Salisbury
- Listen to homilies from St. William Catholic Church in Murphy