Fr. Byrnes Remembered For Faithfulness as Priest

Father Byrnes

A Mass of Christian Burial for Father Francis J. Byrnes, a senior priest of the diocese, was celebrated Oct. 17 in the chapel at Immaculate Conception Center, Douglaston.

He died Oct. 10 at SS. Joachim and Anne Nursing Home, Coney Island. He was 87.

Born in Brooklyn, Father Byrnes attended Cathedral College, and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, L.I. He was ordained by Bishop Thomas E. Molloy on June 9, 1951 at St. James Pro-Cathedral, Downtown Brooklyn.

He served as an assistant at St. Pascal Baylon, St. Albans, 1951-53; St. Anne, Brentwood, L.I., 1953-55; St. Rose of Lima, Rockaway Beach, 1957-60; Holy Family, Flushing, 1960-61; and Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Jamaica, 1961-62.

From 1955 to 1957, he served as chaplain at Central Islip State Hospital, L.I.

In 1962, he went on an extended sick leave from active ministry. After spending many years in Florida, he returned to the diocese in 2007, living at Bishop Mugavero Residence, Douglaston.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio was the main celebrant of the funeral Mass. Msgr. Michael J. Cantley preached the homily.

“He was a very faithful priest for over 61 years,” Msgr. Cantley said. “Unfortunately, he was a man whose physical health was not very good.

“He was a quiet, solemn person. Having prepared so long for the priesthood, he’s an inspiration in the sense of a man who is able to carry his cross of illness without impacting negatively on anyone else.”

Father Byrnes is survived by his sister, Marion Showers.

Burial was in St. John’s Cemetery, Middle Village.

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One thought on “Fr. Byrnes Remembered For Faithfulness as Priest

  1. For more than four years, before my retirement in 2011, I was privileged to have been a caregiver for Rev. Byrnes. I felt it an honor to have been chosen to assist him. As a Home Health Associate, one of my duties was to administer Comfort Care. When Father was down I lifted his spirit. When I was down, he lifted mine. We prayed together and we read Bible stories. I enjoyed those times. He taught me tolerance for unchangable things, and to continue smiling during times of testing. He cautioned me, no matter the circumstances, be grateful for all of God’s blessings. His infirmities and pain did not hinder his terrific sense of humor and his love for good music. We taught songs to each other and I sang them to him. He extended unconditional love and he brought joy to my heart. Thanks, dear God, my friend is with you. I miss him. Please, bless his loved ones.