Wednesday, April 9, 2014

RIP Fr. Desmond Byrne of Australia - Dedicated Priest

Archdiocese of Canberra Release: FR Desmond 'Des' Grayem Byrne died on Saturday evening 5 April 2014 at St Catherine’s, Balwyn. by Mgr Greg Bennet
Fr Byrne was born on 11 December 1926, and educated at Our Lady of Victories, Camberwell and St Kevin’s College, Toorak. In 1945 he commenced his studies for the priesthood at Corpus Christi College and was ordained by Archbishop Mannix on 21st July 1952.
Following his ordination, Fr Byrne served as Assistant Priest at Healesville (1952), West Brunswick (1953-1955), Geelong North (1955-1956), Ormond (1956), and as Catholic Chaplain to the Repatriation Hospital Heidelberg (1956-1969), finally becoming Parish Priest of Oakpark in 1970 until his retirement as Pastor Emeritus in 2002.
Fr Byrne was a dedicated, determined and devoted priest.
I am sure the preacher at his Requiem Mass will reflect upon Fr Byrne’s strong convictions concerning catechesis and his commitment to the formation of young Catholics through his establishment of the St Michael the Archangel Youth Group Oakpark.

Fr Byrne was always keen to remind others, that he saw the potential of engaging young Catholics with the phenomena of World Youth Day, long before it became a feature of diocesan and international Catholic life.
He was a man of deep faith, who expressed little doubt about the place of the Church, the sacraments, Our Lady and prayer in the lives of those he served.
In his retirement Fr Byrne became a student at John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family, continued to supply Mass and to enjoy the company of his loyal lay and priest friends in whom he found great support and spiritual comfort.
Fr Byrne was among many people badly affected by the heat of January. After time spent in Epworth Hospital, he came to the realisation that his fierce independence would need to  give way to care at St Catherine’s, where the staff cared for with great dignity and where he died peacefully in the sixty second year of his priesthood.
Grant, we pray, O Lord,
That the soul of Fr Desmond Byrne, your servant and priest
Whom you honoured with sacred office
While he lived in this world,
May exult for ever in the glorious home of heaven.

Requiescat in Pace

Photo by John Casamento
Funeral details
Thursday, 10 April, 7pm
Rosary at St Mary, Star of the Sea, West Melbourne
Friday, 11 April, 11am
Pontifical Requiem Mass at St Mary, Star of the Sea, West Melbourne
12:30pm – 12:45pm   
Burial at the Priests’ Crypt, Melbourne General

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