Obituary: Judy Devitt, former secretary at chancery in Brighton
Judith A. Devitt of West Roxbury died on April 11, 2023. She was the daughter and only child of the late Frank and Margaret Devitt; her father died in 1973, and her mother in 1981.
Judy was hired as a secretary to the late Msgr. Thomas J. Finnegan, then-chancellor of the archdiocese. Barely out of high school, she probably did not imagine that she would be at the center of the archdiocese for the next three decades.
During Judy's job in the "corner office" of the old chancery at Brighton, she served as administrative aid to Msgr. Finnegan, to Bishops Thomas V. Daily, Robert J. Banks, Alfred C. Hughes, and William F. Murphy. For more than three decades when she was the right arm of the chancellor or vicar general, she was the soul of discretion and maintaining confidentiality.
She also was present for the end of Cardinal Cushing's time as archbishop, for all of the tenure of Cardinal Medeiros, and for almost all of that of Cardinal Law.
Msgr. Finnegan and Bishop Thomas Daily were the last to serve as chancellor when that job included not only the chancellor's responsibilities but virtually all of what we now know as the vicar general and moderator of the curia.
The archdiocese was restructured early in the time of Cardinal Law, coinciding with the new Code of Canon Law, the now familiar cabinet arrangement to assist the archbishop in the pastoral care of the extensive central services of the archdiocese.
Bishops Robert Banks, Alfred Hughes, and William Murphy served as vicars general and moderators of the curia, basically the point men for the archbishop in the day-to-day operations of the archdiocese. Judy enjoyed the confidence of all five of these priests and bishops.
During the tenure of Bishop Murphy, Judy asked to move out of her job and she was hired as an administrative assistant and patient advocate at St. Elizabeth Hospital, Brighton. She retired from that job a few years ago.
Judy's funeral Mass was celebrated at St. Theresa of Avila, West Roxbury, on April 18, 2023. She was buried in Mount Benedict Cemetery, West Roxbury, with her parents.