This was a happy surprise this morning around the Kandra household: he’s the pastor at a parish near my in-laws’ home in Maryland.
In fact, my wife attended the grade school at Our Lady of Mercy, and the parish has had some notable members in its flock; it was the church of Sargent Shriver and his family for many years. My wife’s grandparents worshipped there, too, and both of their funerals were held there.
Oh: the new bishop has a celebrated sibling, too.
Pope Francis Wednesday appointed Fr. William “Bill” D. Byrne, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington and the presenter of a popular YouTube series, to lead the Diocese of Springfield, Massachusetts.
Bishop-elect Byrne, 56, is also the younger brother of Sr. Deirdre “Dede” Byrne, POSC, a surgeon, retired army officer, and religious sister who spoke at the 2020 Republican National Convention in August.
Byrne has been a priest of Washington archdiocese for 26 years. Since 2015, he has been pastor at Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Potomac, Maryland. He has been a member of the archdiocese’s formation board since 2009.
The bishop-elect is also a columnist and a YouTuber, with a video series for the archdiocese on “Five Things,” in which he highlights small ways people can grow closer to God.
The YouTube series has been developed into a book by Loyola Press, “Five Things with Fr. Bill,” which will be published Oct. 16.
Pope Francis named Byrne a Missionary of Mercy during the Jubilee Year of Mercy in 2016.
The priest taught homiletics to seminarians studying at the Pontifical North American College in Rome for nine years and was the homilist for a Mass with 20,000 Catholic youth and their leaders the night before the annual March for Life in Washington, D.C. in 2007.