Pope Francis Names 10th Bishop of Springfield
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Pope Francis has named the Rev. William D. Byrne, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, DC as the 10th Bishop of Springfield.
The announcement was made Wednesday, Oct. 14, in Washington, D.C. by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, the U.S. papal nuncio.
Bishop-elect Byrne was born Sept. 26, 1964. A native of Washington, D.C., he is the youngest of eight children of Mary (Largent) Byrne and the late Dr. William Byrne, a thoracic and cardiovascular surgeon who passed away in 2011.
As a youth, the bishop-elect attended Mater Dei School in Bethesda, Md., went on to Georgetown Preparatory School, North Bethesda, Md. and completed his undergraduate studies at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester. He then taught for three years at Mater Dei before being accepted as a seminarian for the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
He then studied at the Pontifical North American College in Rome completing his Licentiate in Sacred Theology from Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) and was ordained in 1994 by Cardinal James A. Hickey.
As a newly ordained priest, he was first assigned to the Church of the Little Flower and the Shrine of St. Jude in Bethesda, Md. For eight years he served as the chaplain to the University of Maryland during which time 14 men from the chaplaincy entered seminary and are currently ordained priests along with five women who are currently in religious life after having attended the university.
He was named pastor of St. Peter's on Capitol Hill, where he created a special ministry to Catholic members of Congress. During that same time, Bishop-elect Byrne also served as the Secretary for Pastoral Ministry and Social Concerns for the Archdiocese of Washington for 6 1/2 years.
More recently he has served as pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Potomac, Md.
In addition to his parish work, for nine years he taught homiletics to the seminarians of the Pontifical North American College. He has been invited to speak at numerous Priests Convocations including in the Archdioceses of Washington, Newark and Seattle as well as in the dioceses of Venice, Fla, Arlington, Va., Providence, R.I., Allentown, Penn., Greensburg, Penn. and Bridgeport, Conn.
In 2007, he gave the homily to 20,000 Catholic youth and their leaders gathered at the Verizon Center for the annual Mass and Rally for Life which each year precedes the Annual March for Life in Washington, D.C.
In 2016 Pope Francis named him a "Missionary of Mercy" for the Jubilee Year of Mercy.
Bishop-elect Byrne is a columnist and YouTube personality, with his series "Five Things"
highlighting five life hacks, prayer starters, or spiritual meditations to help people to grow closer to God and appreciate the small—but vital—things in life. The series has been developed into the book "Five Things with Fr. Bill" which is being released Thursday, Oct. 15 by Loyola Press.
Bishop-elect Byrne assumes the position left vacant when Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski was named as the Archbishop of St. Louis on June 10 and was installed on Aug. 25. Since then, Worcester Bishop Robert J. McManus has been serving as the Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Springfield.
Bishop-elect Byrne will be ordained and installed as the 10th Bishop of Springfield on Dec. 14 at
the Cathedral of Saint Michael the Archangel on State Street in Springfield. He will shepherd a diocese comprising of 79 parishes and seven missions located in Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden and Hampshire counties, and a Catholic population of 164,799.