Devereux, James A.Died
Fr. James Ashton Devereux, SJ, whose many ministries included serving as the provincial of the Maryland Province, an English professor and pastor in North Carolina, died Dec. 19 of
Parkinson’s disease. A Jesuit for 66 years and a priest for 53, he was 83.
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 July 31, 1947.
Fr. Devereux earned his bachelors degree in 1951 and masters 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 Aug. 6, 1958, at the College of St. Michael in Brussels, DevereuxBelgium.
Fr. 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 1952-1954. After
receiving his doctorate he taught English at the University of Scranton from 1964-1966 and then at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill from 1966-1970. He spent a sabbatical year at
Oxford University before returning to teach English at Chapel Hill from 1971-1979. His next assignment was at Georgetown University where he was rector from 1979-1984.
Fr. Devereux also was a consultant for the International Commission on English in the Liturgy from 1965 to 1969 which worked on the translation fo the Roman Missal in use until this month. In addition, he served on Georgetown’s Board of Directors from 1973 to 1978.
In 1984 Fr. 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’s Church for a year and then was pastor from 1992 to 1999.
In 1999, Fr. 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.