Pope names new bishop for Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield

Amherst Bulletin

October 27, 2020

By Michael Connors

Springfield – The Rev. William D. Byrne, a priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., was named by Pope Francis on Wednesday as the 10th bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield.

A native of Washington, D.C., Byrne, 56, will replace Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski, who after six years of leading the diocese was tapped this summer to become the archbishop of St. Louis. The announcement of Byrne’s new position was made in Washington by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, U.S. papal nuncio.

At a news conference Wednesday, Byrne said that when he received the call informing him of his appointment, he realized it was “a profound gift of not just being a bishop, but being a bishop here in western Massachusetts.” Byrne was ordained as a priest in 1994 and has most recently served as pastor of the Our Lady of Mercy parish in Potomac, Maryland.

“And at that moment, I prayed for the people and the clergy, the priests of this diocese, and have continued to do so each and every day as I prepare myself to join you in our new home,” Byrne said. “I prayed also for myself — I prayed that I may be a gift to this local church.”

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