Christopher Edward Byrne

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Christopher Edward Byrne
Bishop of Galveston
Appointed July 18, 1918
Installed 1918
Term ended 1950
Ordination September 23, 1891
by Archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick
Consecration November 10, 1919
by Archbishop John J. Glennon
Personal details
Born (1867-04-21)April 21, 1867
Byrnesville, Missouri
Died April 1, 1950(1950-04-01) (aged 82)
Calvary Cemetery, Galveston
Nationality American
Denomination Roman Catholic
Parents Patrick and Rose Byrne
Education St. Mary's College, Kansas
Alma mater St. Mary's Seminary, Baltimore, Maryland

Christopher Edward Byrne (April 21, 1867 – April 1, 1950) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Galveston from 1918 until his death in 1950.


Christopher Byrne was born in Byrnesville, Missouri, to Patrick and Rose Byrne.[1] After attending the village school where his father taught, he studied at St. Mary's College in Kansas, from where he obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1886.[1] He then studied for the priesthood at St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland.[2] Returning to Missouri, he was ordained a priest by Archbishop Peter Richard Kenrick on September 23, 1891.[3]

Byrne then served as a curate at St. Bridget's Church in St. Louis until 1897, when he became pastor of Sacred Heart Church in Columbia.[2] In 1898 he took a leave due to poor health and lived at San Antonio, Texas, before returning to Missouri.[4] He was pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Edina from 1899 to 1910, and was transferred to Holy Name Church at St. Louis in 1911.[2] He erected churches and schools at every assignment, and for many years he also did editorial work on the Catholic newspaper The Church Progress.[1] He also served as diocesan director of the Holy Name Society and member of the Diocesan School Board.[4]

On July 18, 1918, Byrne was appointed the fourth Bishop of Galveston, Texas, by Pope Benedict XV.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on the following November 10 from Archbishop John J. Glennon, with Bishops Thomas Francis Lillis and John Baptist Morris serving as co-consecrators.[3] His expressed priority as bishop was vocations, saying, "If Catholicism has not taken that deep hold on the people which will make them dedicate their young to God's service, it cannot endure."[4] During his tenure he ordained about 130 priests and received several hundred people into religious communities.[1] He also increased the number of Catholics in the diocese from 70,000 to 200,000, and the number of schools from 51 to over 100.[1]

Byrne later died from a heart attack at age 82.[4] He is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Galveston.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f "BYRNE, CHRISTOPHER EDWARD (1867-1950)". Texas States Historical Association. 
  2. ^ a b c O'Donnell, John Hugh (1922). The Catholic Hierarchy of the United States, 1790-1922.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  3. ^ a b c "Bishop Christopher Edward Byrne". [self-published source]
  4. ^ a b c d "Our Namesake". Bishop Byrne High School. 

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Nicolaus Aloysius Gallagher
Bishop of Galveston
Succeeded by
Wendelin Joseph Nold