Obituaries, Week of Nov. 12, 2022

Father James T. Devine, a retired priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, died on Tuesday, Nov. 1. Father Devine, who was born on May 13, 1934, was ordained to the priesthood on May 28, 1960. 

Father Devine served the Diocese of Brooklyn as Administrator-Chaplain of the Chapel of Our Lady of the Skies (Jamaica) and Pastor of Saint Rose of Lima (Rockaway Beach). He also served as Parochial Vicar of the Parishes of Mary Queen of Heaven (Brooklyn), Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament (Bayside), and Saint Gertrude (Edgemere). 

Father Devine was a member of the Diocesan Priest Senate and ministered at Catholic Charities as Director of the Catholic Youth Organization. Father Devine was also a member of the Priests’ Purgatorial Society. 

Father Chris Piasta noted that Father Devine, in his role as JFK Chaplain, responded to the tragic plane crashes of Pan Am Flight 103 in Lockerbie, Scotland, in December 1988, and American Airlines Flight 587 in Rockaway, Queens in November 2001, to minister to the families of those killed in those disasters. 

“He was a constant spiritual presence at the airport,” said Father Piasta, the Catholic chaplain at LaGuardia Airport, who knew Father Devine for 13 years when both were serving ministries at JFK and LaGuardia Airports. “He was a very accepting man, who saw the humanity in every person, saw God in every person he met.” 

A funeral Mass for Father Devine, celebrated by Bishop Robert Brennan, with Father Peter Gillen delivering the homily, was held Friday, Nov. 4, at Immaculate Conception Center, Douglaston, New York. Interment followed at Mount Saint Mary Cemetery, Flushing. 

Sister Nancy Jean Fackner, CSJ, (Sister Regina Martin), born on Nov. 4, 1937, died Wednesday, Oct. 12. One of five children born to Margaret and Walter Fackner, Nancy grew up in Brooklyn and attended Saint Martin of Tours Elementary School and Saint Joseph’s Juniorate. 

Responding to God’s call to religious life, Nancy became a Sister of Saint Joseph of Brentwood and embarked upon a life that led her to heed the call. Her first assignment was to teach fifth-grade students at Saint Martha’s. Sister Regina Martin then taught at Saint Pascal Baylon, Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Astoria), Saint Michael (Flushing), Our Lady of the Snows, and Queen of Peace before enrolling in the Caledonian Hospital School of Nursing. 

Shortly after, Sister Nancy and Sister Kathleen Britt traveled to Clay, West Virginia, where for more than a quarter of a century, they ministered as social workers and healthcare professionals preaching God’s love through their heartfelt compassion, prayerful counsel, and frequent home visits. Sister Nancy continued her Nursing education at the University of Charleston and at West Virginia University while caring for the people in that area of Appalachia. For two years, Sister Nancy taught at Clay County High School and, during her last year in West Virginia, was a pastoral associate at Risen Lord Catholic Church. 

On returning to Long Island, Sister Nancy shared her nursing skills at Family Residences & Essential Enterprises and at Little Flower Children & Family Services. Always mindful of the needs of her neighbors, in her retirement, Sister Nancy could be found helping out at Maria Regina Residence and Saint Anne’s Food Pantry and Soup Kitchen. 

A Mass for Sister Nancy was celebrated in Sacred Heart Chapel on Oct. 24. Burial followed in Calvary Cemetery, Brentwood. 

Sister Rosemary Dever, OP, (Sister Helene Goretti), died on the morning of Oct. 28. 

Rosemary was born on April 12, 1934. Both of her parents were immigrants: her dad, Peter Dever, from Ireland, and her mom, Helen Deeming Dever, from England. The family lived in St. Sylvester Parish, Brooklyn. 

Rosemary went to the parish school for her elementary grades and to Dominican Commercial High School, Jamaica, where her Dominican vocation was born. 

Rosemary entered the Dominican novitiate on Sept. 12, 1953, was invested on Aug. 4, 1954, and professed vows on Aug. 8, 1955. In 1963 Sister Rosemary became a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) and earned an Associate in Applied Science at Farmingdale State University. 

Most of Rosemary’s ministries were for the care of the elderly. During her first 20 years, she served at Our Lady of Consolation Residence, located across the street from the Motherhouse, as a nurse. In 1975, when Consolation Residence in Amityville moved to West Islip, Rho moved with it. When sisters were able to choose their ministries in future years, Rosemary continued nursing in many places, such as Carlin Hall, Amityville; Chapin Home for the Aging, Jamaica; Brooklyn Methodist Home; nursing homes in Rockaway, and many other places on Long Island. 

In her later years in retirement, she worked as a driver for the sisters in the Motherhouse and volunteered in Kindertowne, the congregation’s daycare program. 

Rosemary’s brothers predeceased her. She is survived by her loving sister-in-law Helen, seven nieces and nephews, and many grandnephews and grandnieces. 

Sister Rosemary’s funeral was held Saturday, Nov. 5. 

A Mass of Christian burial followed a prayer service. Interment took place in the sisters’ cemetery following the Mass.