Archbishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of St. Louis called the appointment of the Rev. William D. Byrne as the 10th bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield “a great gift to the diocese.”
“With this announcement, Pope Francis has given a great gift to my former diocese,” said Rozanski, who served for six years as Western Massachusetts’ ninth Catholic bishop until his Missouri appointment in June.
He called Byrne — a university chaplain, pastor for more than two decades in the Washington D.C. area, and YouTube personality for his videos with spiritual insights — “a communicator who is adept at using many platforms to spread the Word of Our Lord Jesus Christ, namely, those platforms which particularly engage our younger generations.”
Byrne’s 26 years of pastoral experience “will serve him well in supporting the faithful of Western Massachusetts,” the archbishop said.
Noting that Byrne graduated from the College of Holy Cross in Worcester means he is “not a stranger to Massachusetts,”
“In Western Massachusetts, Bishop-elect Byrne will find a loving people who are passionate about the Catholic faith and willing to support him in his ministry as they did for me over the last six years,” Rozanski said.
The 56-year-old Byrne, who has served since 2015 as pastor of Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Potomac, Maryland, is set to be ordained as Springfield’s new bishop on Dec. 14 at St. Michael’s Cathedral.