Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

Bishop of Little Rock, Arkansas, U.S.A. b. at Navan, Co. Meath, Ireland, 5 December, 1802; d. at Helena, Arkansas, 10 June, 1862. He was an ecclesiastical student when, in 1820, Bishop England sought volunteers for the mission of the newly created Diocese of Charleston (South Carolina), and he accompanied the bishop to the United States. He was ordained at Charleston, 11 November, 1827, and after active missionary work in South and North Carolina was for several years vicar-general of the diocese. In 1836 he removed to New York City, where he served at St. Patrick's, St. James's and the church of the Nativity, and finally altered, in 1843, the famous Carroll Hall, which might be termed the cradle of the public school system of New York, into St. Andrew's church. While pastor there in 1844, the new Diocese of Little Rock, comprising the State of Arkansas and all of the Indian Territory, was created, and Father Byrne was named its first bishop. He was consecrated in St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York City, 10 March, 1844, at the same time that the Rev. John McCloskey (afterwards Cardinal ) was consecrated coadjutor of New York, and the Rev. William Quarter, Bishop of Chicago. There were then in Arkansas only about 700 Catholics with one priest and two churches. Shortly before Bishop Byrne died, he claimed that the number of Catholics had increased largely, with nine or more priests, eleven churches, thirty stations, and twelve schools and academies. He visited Ireland several times to obtain colabourers and assistants in the cause of religion and education. He introduced the Sisters of Mercy from Dublin and at the time of his death had almost completed arrangements for the starting of a college at Fort Smith by the Christian Brothers . He was one of the prelates attending the Sixth Provincial Council of Baltimore in May, 1846, and the First Provincial Council of New Orleans in 1856. At the Second Baltimore Council, in 1833, he acted as Bishop England's theologian.

More Encyclopedia

The Catholic Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive resource on Catholic teaching, history, and information ever gathered in all of human history. This easy-to-search online version was originally printed between 1907 and 1912 in fifteen hard copy volumes.

Catholic Encyclopedia

Designed to present its readers with the full body of Catholic teaching, the Encyclopedia contains not only precise statements of what the Church has defined, but also an impartial record of different views of acknowledged authority on all disputed questions, national, political or factional. In the determination of the truth the most recent and acknowledged scientific methods are employed, and the results of the latest research in theology, philosophy, history, apologetics, archaeology, and other sciences are given careful consideration.

No one who is interested in human history, past and present, can ignore the Catholic Church, either as an institution which has been the central figure in the civilized world for nearly two thousand years, decisively affecting its destinies, religious, literary, scientific, social and political, or as an existing power whose influence and activity extend to every part of the globe. In the past century the Church has grown both extensively and intensively among English-speaking peoples. Their living interests demand that they should have the means of informing themselves about this vast institution, which, whether they are Catholics or not, affects their fortunes and their destiny.

Copyright © Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company New York, NY. Volume 1: 1907; Volume 2: 1907; Volume 3: 1908; Volume 4: 1908; Volume 5: 1909; Volume 6: 1909; Volume 7: 1910; Volume 8: 1910; Volume 9: 1910; Volume 10: 1911; Volume 11: - 1911; Volume 12: - 1911; Volume 13: - 1912; Volume 14: 1912; Volume 15: 1912

Catholic Online Catholic Encyclopedia Digital version Compiled and Copyright © Catholic Online


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Sirach 35:12-14, 16-18
12 for the Lord is a judge who is utterly impartial.13 He ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 34:2-3, 17-18, 19, 23
2 I will praise Yahweh from my heart; let the humble hear and ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 18:9-14
9 He spoke the following parable to some people who prided themselves on ... Read More

Reading 2, Second Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
6 As for me, my life is already being poured away as a libation, and the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 23rd, 2016 Image

St. John of Capistrano
October 23: St. John was born at Capistrano, Italy in 1385, ... Read More