Edwin Byrne

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Edwin Byrne
Archbishop of Santa Fe
In office 1943-1963
Ordination May 22, 1915
by Archbishop Edmond Francis Prendergast
Consecration November 30, 1926
by Cardinal Dennis Joseph Dougherty
Personal details
Born (1891-08-09)August 9, 1891
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died July 26, 1963(1963-07-26) (aged 71)
Nationality American
Denomination Roman Catholic
Parents Francis Charles and Anna (née Carroll) Byrne
Education Roman Catholic High School for Boys
Alma mater St. Charles Borromeo Seminary

Edwin Vincent Byrne (August 9, 1891 – July 26, 1963) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served in Puerto Rico, as Bishop of Ponce (1925-1929) and Bishop of San Juan (1929-1943), before returning to the United States as Archbishop of Santa Fe (1943-1963).


Edwin Byrne was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Francis Charles and Anna (née Carroll) Byrne.[1] After graduating from Roman Catholic High School for Boys in Philadelphia in 1908, he studied at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook.[1] He was ordained to the priesthood by Archbishop Edmond Francis Prendergast on May 22, 1915.[2] He then served as a curate at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Philadelphia until 1917, when he became a chaplain in the United States Navy during World War I.[1] From 1920 to 1923, he was secretary to Bishop James Paul McCloskey, of the Diocese of Jaro in the Philippines.[1] He was named vicar general of Jaro in 1923.[1]

On June 23, 1925, Byrne was appointed the first Bishop of the Diocese of Ponce in Puerto Rico by Pope Pius XI.[2] He received his episcopal consecration on the following November 30 from Cardinal Dennis Joseph Dougherty, with Bishop John Joseph Swint and Bishop Andrew James Louis Brennan serving as co-consecrators.[2] After Archbishop Jorge José Caruana was made Apostolic Nuncio to Mexico, Byrne was named Bishop of San Juan on March 8, 1929.[2] He became an Assistant at the Pontifical Throne in 1940.[1]

Byrne was appointed the eighth Archbishop of Santa Fe, New Mexico, on June 12, 1943.[2] During his 20-year-long tenure, he was instrumental in the construction of many churches and schools, and built up the diocesan clergy.[3] In 1958, his decree that no Catholic girl should appear in a bathing suit in the Miss New Mexico pageant received national attention and stirred controversy; he never rescinded the ban.[4][5] He condemned a "right to work" bill being considered in the state legislature.[3] He also prohibited Catholic students from dating while attending high school, describing "going steady, keeping steady company, necking and kissing" as "pagan" practices.[6] He attended the first session of the Second Vatican Council in 1962.[3]

Byrne suffered a gallbladder attack on July 21, 1963, and was admitted to St. Vincent Hospital two days later.[3] He underwent surgery for removal of the gallbladder on July 26, dying later that day.[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig. 
  2. ^ a b c d e "Archbishop Edwin Vincent Byrne". Catholic-Hierarchy.org. [self-published source]
  3. ^ a b c d e "Archbishop Edwin V. Byrne, 71, Of Santa Fe Diocese Is Dead". The New York Times. 1963-07-27. 
  4. ^ "Archbishop v. Redhead". TIME Magazine. 1959-07-20. 
  5. ^ "The Bathing-Suit Issue". TIME Magazine. 1959-07-27. 
  6. ^ "The Way to Dishonor". TIME Magazine. 1957-10-21. 

External links and additional sources

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Ponce
Succeeded by
Aloysius Joseph Willinger
Preceded by
Jorge José Caruana
Bishop of San Juan
Succeeded by
James Peter Davis
Preceded by
Rudolph Gerken
Archbishop of Santa Fe
Succeeded by
James Peter Davis
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