October 21: Bishop Leo C. Byrne


October 21, 1974

Bishop Leo C. Byrne

Archbishop Byrne was born on March 19, 1908 in St. Louis, MO and after attending Kenrick Seminary, St. Louis, MO he was ordained in St. Louis Cathedral on June 10, 1933. In St. Louis he was Executive Secretary of Catholic Charities, National Moderator of the Lay Women’s Retreat Movement, and the Diocesan Director of Family Life. He was ordained as an auxiliary bishop in St. Louis on June 29, 1954 and was named Coadjutor Bishop to Bishop Mark K. Carroll on April 25, 1961. Pope John XXIII appointed him Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Wichita on February 15, 1963. During his time in Wichita he started the diocesan mission in Venezuela, led the New Horizons Program, formed an Ecumenical Commission, and established the new parish of the Church of the Resurrection. On August 2, 1967 he was named Coadjutor of the Archdiocese of St. Paul – Minneapolis. Archbishop Byrne was Vice-President of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops at the time of his death on October 21, 1974. John Cardinal Cody of Chicago was principal celebrant of Archbishop Byrne’s Funeral Mass along with seventy concelebrating bishops and priests (including Bishop David Maloney, Msgr. Charles Walsh, Father Eugene Gerber, Father John O’Shea and Father Charles Regan from Wichita). Six hundred other priests also attended his funeral in the St. Paul Cathedral. Archbishop Byrne was buried in Resurrection Cemetery in Mendota Heights, MN.