James Byrne (bishop)
James J. Byrne
|Archbishop of Dubuque|
|Church||Roman Catholic Church|
|In office||March 7, 1962–August 23, 1983|
|Ordination||June 3, 1933
by John Gregory Murray
|Consecration||July 2, 1947
by Amleto Giovanni Cicognani
July 28, 1908|
Saint Paul, Minnesota
|Died||August 2, 1996
|Previous post||Bishop of Boise|
James Joseph Byrne (July 28, 1908 – August 2, 1996) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He was Archbishop of Dubuque from 1962 to 1983, having previously served as Auxiliary Bishop of St. Paul (1947–56) and Bishop of Boise City (1956–62).
Early life and education
James Byrne was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, to Philip Joseph and Mary Agnes (née McMonigal) Вyrne. One of nine children, he had five brothers and three sisters; one of his brothers, Thomas R. Byrne, served as Mayor of St. Paul from 1966 to 1970. Another brother, Robert Byrne, was an instructor of Latin at Saint Thomas Military Academy. After graduating from parochial school, he attended Cretin High School in St. Paul.
Byrne enrolled at Nazareth Hall Preparatory Seminary in 1924. In 1927, he continued his studies for the priesthood at St. Paul Seminary. He earned a Bachelor of Sacred Theology degree from the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. in 1933.
On June 3, 1933, Byrne was ordained a priest by Archbishop John Gregory Murray at St. Paul Cathedral. His first assignment was as a curate at St. Peter's Church in Mendota. He continued his studies at the Catholic University of Leuven|Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, where he earned a Doctor of Sacred Theology degree in 1937 with a thesis entitled: "Idea of Development of Doctrine in Anglican Writings of John Henry Newman."
Following his return to Minnesota, Byrne served as professor of philosophy and theology (1937–45) and academic dean (1941–45) at the College of St. Thomas. He was also a part-time professor of theology at the College of St. Catherine (1940–47) and a professor of theology at St. Paul Seminary (1945–47). In addition to his academic duties, he served as a chaplain at local religious institutions.
|Ordination history of James Byrne|
|Principal consecrator||Amleto Giovanni Cicognani (Apos. Del.)|
|Date of consecration||July 2, 1947|
|Bishops consecrated by James Byrne as principal consecrator|
|Francis John Dunn||August 27, 1969|
|Lawrence Donald Soens||August 17, 1983|
On May 10, 1947, Byrne was appointed auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of St. Paul and titular bishop of Etenna by Pope Pius XII. He received his episcopal consecration on the following July 2 from Archbishop Amleto Giovanni Cicognani, with Bishops Thomas Anthony Welch and Francis Joseph Schenk serving as co-consecrators, at St. Paul Cathedral. He selected as his episcopal motto: Ad Jesum Per Mariam (Latin: "To Jesus through Mary"). Following the appointment of Archbishop Leo Binz to the Archdiocese of Saint Paul, Pope Blessed John XXIII named Bishop Byrne the ninth bishop and seventh archbishop of Dubuque on March 7, 1962. He was installed as archbishop by the Apostolic Delegate on May 8, 1962 in St. Raphael's Cathedral. Archbishop Byrne would serve as the leader of the Dubuque Archdiocese for 21 years. As an auxiliary bishop, Byrne served as pastor of the Church of the Nativity in St. Paul (1948–56).
Following the death of Bishop Edward Kelly, Byrne was appointed the fourth Bishop of Boise, Idaho, on June 16, 1956. His installation took place at Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist on August 29 of that year. He remained in Boise for nearly six years.
Following the appointment of Archbishop Leo Binz to the Archdiocese of Saint Paul, Pope John XXIII named Bishop Byrne the ninth bishop and seventh archbishop of Dubuque on March 7, 1962. He was installed as archbishop by the Apostolic Delegate on May 8, 1962 in St. Raphael's Cathedral. Archbishop Byrne would serve as the leader of the Dubuque Archdiocese for 21 years.
From 1962-1965, Archbishop Byrne was present at all four sessions of the Second Vatican Council. Following the council he was responsible for implementing the reforms promulgated by the council within the archdiocese. During his time in office, Archbishop Byrne maintained a relatively low profile in the community. He was noted for asking that Catholics join him in a televised recitation of the Rosary before the evening news, and had cards produced that people could place on top of their television sets. Archbishop Byrne also encouraged the growing cooperation among the Roman Catholic and Protestant seminaries and colleges in Dubuque and often accepted invitations to participate in seminars and to speak to classes. On one occasion, in an airport, he encountered a Protestant seminarian he had come to know through these activities who was going to interview for a parish position and offered his blessing for his success and for his future ministry. He also devoted as much time as he could to visiting those who were hospitalized in Dubuque.
In 1966 the archdiocese was one the nation's first diocese to establish a Priest's Senate. The following year the Archdiocesan Board of Education was established, and adult education was started at the parish level. The Priest Personnel Board was established in 1968 to advise the archbishop on priest assignments in the archdiocese. In 1970 an Interim Pastoral Council was developed as an advisory and consultative group. Villa Raphael was opened in 1971 as a home for retired priests. On October 4, 1979, Pope John Paul II made his historic visit to Iowa. Archbishop Byrne was Chancellor of Loras College.
Pope John Paul II accepted his resignation on August 23, 1983, and he was named Archbishop Emeritus of Dubuque. Following his retirement, Archbishop Byrne remained in the Dubuque area. He died while a resident at the Stonehill Care Center (operated by Franciscan Sisters) in Dubuque on August 2, 1996, and was buried in the mortuary chapel of St. Raphael's Cathedral along with other deceased bishops and archbishops of the archdiocese. Archbishop Byrne had earlier purchased a simple wooden casket from the monks of New Melleray Abbey and stored it at the Cathedral; this was the casket in which he was buried.
- Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
- "The good old days: when bishops knew how to bishop...". ORBIS CATHOLICVS. 2009-08-23.
- "Archbishop James Joseph Byrne". Catholic-Hierarchy.org.
- "OTHER DEATHS". The Gazette. 1996-08-04.
|Catholic Church titles|
Edward Joseph Kelly
Bishop of Boise
Sylvester William Treinen