Archbishop Byrnes tells Guam “I belong to you”


Updated: Nov 30, 2016

By Krystal Paco

History has been made. Hundreds of the island’s faithful gathered for a morning prayer service to welcome and celebrate newly-appointed Archbishop Michael Byrnes. While he’s scheduled to make his permanent move to Guam in January, the new leader of the island’s Catholic faithful is visiting for the next few weeks to get acquainted with his new island home.

The arrival of Guam’s new archbishop appears to already be closing the gap that has divided the local Catholic church for years. On Wednesday morning, just minutes before a Prayer for the Beginning of the Episcopal Ministry of Coadjutor Archbishop Michael Jude Byrnes service, dozens of members of the Neocatechumenal Way gathered in song to welcome him.

Hailing from Detroit, Michigan, Archbishop Byrnes was appointed to the Archdiocese of Agana on October 31. He was given full authority over the pastoral life of the local church, relieving Archbishop Anthony Apuron. Acting as Guam’s interim archbishop since June, apostolic administrator Archbishop Savio Hon Tai Fai provided opening remarks for today’s prayer service.

“Pope Francis is confident that Archbishop Michael will promote the healing of the archdiocese,” he said, “and the building of bridges for a deeper ecclesial union that everyone desires.”

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