Rev. Fr Michael Byrne

Knock Basilica 2017 Sinead Malee
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Knock_Basilica_16_July_2017.jpg
Knock Basilica 2017 Sinead Malee
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blackrock,_Dublin_(507248)_(33027054295).jpg
Medina St. Bonthe, Sierra Leone 2008 bernijudge
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Medina_Street,_Bonthe,_Sierra_Leone_-_panoramio.jpg
Landsat image of Sherbro Island, Sierra Leone 2000 NASA
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Sherbro_Landsat.jpg
Lage des Moyamba Districts in Sierra Leone 2018 NordNornWest
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Moyamba_District_in_Sierra_Leone_2018.svg
Knock, Co. Mayo.

Military Chaplin

This Missionary spent many years on the African Continent.

Michael Byrne was born on December 24th 1866 at Edenpark, Knock, Co. Mayo.  Among his family members were a relative who witnessed the Knock Apparition: he was a cousin of Dr Joseph Cunnane, Archbishop of Tuam.  He worked on the family farm following National School studies.

Colleges

Byrne was aged twenty – four years during 1890 when he entered Blackrock College, Dublin to continue with second level education.  He was sent to France after five years in 1895 for further studies.  During 1898 an attempt was made to launch a senior Scholasticate for Ireland at Rockwell College:  Michael was amongst the handful of students sent there to study Theology.

Mission

 When Fr. Michael was consecrated to the apostolate during 1900 he was appointed to Sierra Leone in Africa.  He was reluctant as he feared ‘the white man’s grave’ as the area was known but he obeyed his Superior.  He is remembered there as an excellent preacher. Even Protestants turned up to hear him preach in St Edward’s Cathedral.  It was reported that they were particularly impressed by his sermons on the occasion of the Golden Jubilee of the proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception.

Various Districts

He was chaplain to the military in Freetown of which there many Irish soldiers.  Fr. Byrne tutored students in several mission schools.  Fr. Michael occasions replaced confrères in Bonthe, Sherbro and Moyamba several times. Unfortunately following a severe bout of fever he was advised to take a holiday in Ireland.  In 1906 he returned following convalesce.  The fever returned later without any warning that was to prove fatal when he was just forty – one years of age.

Fr. Byrne’s demise occurred on December 23rd 1907.  He was assisted in his last hours by Bishop John O’Gorman and Fr Dan Lynch.

Footnote

On the occasion of Fr. Byrne’s time in France he was amongst those who took part in the great novitiate of 1896-97 when three separate novitiates had to be arranged to cope with the large numbers.

Source

PDF  www.spiritan.ie/oldSite/irish_spiritans_remembered.pdf

 

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Share this
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterPin on PinterestShare on Google+Email this to someone