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DEVANEY, Rev. Michael J. OMI

DEVANEY - Rev. Michael J. OMI Age 81; died at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence, Tewksbury, MA on August 7, 2011, following a lengthy illness. He was born on August 15, 1929, in Buffalo, NY and was the son of Michael and Bridget (Donlon) Devaney.
Fr. Devaney entered the Oblate Novitiate at Ipswich, MA, on September 7, 1951, and professed his first vows on September 8, 1952. He completed his studies at the Oblate College and the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. His priestly Ordination took place on June 8, 1957, in Washington, D.C. with Bishop John M. McNamara presiding. His first Oblate obedience in 1958 was a teaching assignment at Bishop Fallon High School in Buffalo. In 1960, he was assigned to St. William's Parish in Tewksbury and spent the next 45 years ministering in various Oblate parishes including Holy Angel's, Buffalo; Our Lady of Hope, Newburgh, NY; St. Stephen's, Miramar, FL; and St. John Fisher in West Palm Beach, FL. He was also the founding pastor of Mary Immaculate Parish in West Palm Beach. His final parish assignment in 1989 was Pastor of SS. Simon & Jude Parish in West Jefferson, OH. Despite failing health, Fr. Devaney remained at SS. Simon & Jude Parish until the end of 2005. At departure, he was in the midst of building a new church, but, sadly, frail health dictated that he leave prior to seeing the project to completion for the people and the parish he so loved. He was transferred to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence in Tewksbury in December of 2005. In October of 2006, the new SS. Simon & Jude Church was dedicated. In June of 2007, he returned to SS. Simon & Jude to celebrate his 50th Anniversary of priesthood and, while there, suffered a serious stroke. He was taken to Mohun Health Care Center in Columbus where he recuperated until late in 2009. Finally, in January of 2010, he returned to the Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence where he remained until his death. Fr. Devaney was active throughout the years with the Knights of Columbus in Tewksbury, in Freehold, New Jersey, in Broward County, FL and in West Jefferson. He authored several items including a book titled, Arctic Apostle, with the Paulist Press in 1959 about Oblate Bishop Arsene Turquetil. During his time in Florida, he was a member of the Miami Priest Senate for two years, and, for three terms, he was President of the Ministerial Association of the Palm Beach Churches and Synagogues, an initiative in opposition to casinos. He founded the Mary Immaculate Mission in West Palm Beach and established a mission in Royal Palm Beach which later became St. Rita's Parish. Fr. Devaney is survived by a sister, Anna Devaney; a brother-in-law, Robert F. Gavin; a niece, Anne Gavin and two nephews, Robert J. and Kevin Gavin, all of Buffalo, as well as numerous cousins in Ireland and the United Kingdom. In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by a sister, Dolorita (Devaney) Gavin. Services and calling hours will be in the Chapel at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence, 486 Chandler St., Tewksbury, MA. Calling hours will be on August 11, 2011, from 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM, with a prayer service at 7:30 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 AM on August 12, 2011. Burial will take place in the Oblate cemetery at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence. Donations in memory of Fr. Devaney may be made to the Oblate Infirmary Fund, 486 Chandler St., Tewksbury, MA 01876-2849 or to the Building Fund, SS. Simon & Jude Parish, 9350 High Free Pike, West Jefferson, OH 43162. A Memorial Mass will be held at SS. Simon & Jude Parish on August 16, 2011 at 7:00 PM2. The McKENNA-OUELLETTE FUNERAL HOME, 327 Hildreth St., Lowell, MA is in charge of arrangements. For condolences or directions, please visit

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