Archdiocese of DC's Rev. William Byrne named Bishop of Springfield

A priest of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C. known for his YouTube series of advice and life hacks for Catholics was named by Pope Francis on Wednesday as the new bishop of the Diocese of Springfield.

The Rev. William Byrne, a Virginia native who most recently served as pastor of Our Lady of Mercy in Potomac, will be formally installed on Dec. 14.

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“Many of our people have drifted from their faith and many of our parishes and schools are struggling in the midst of the pandemic. But some of our greatest challenges come from within,” Byrne said at a news conference.

“The shameful history of abuse within the church represents a systematic failure to protect our most vulnerable members, especially our children. It must be acknowledged going forward continuously."

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Byrne, 56, attended the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, and was ordained in 1994.

His YouTube series “Five Things” highlights teachings, prayer starters, or spiritual meditations to help people to grow closer to God, the diocese said in a statement. It has been developed into a book.

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Byrne replaces Bishop Mitchell Rozanski, who was named Archbishop of St. Louis in June.

The Diocese of Springfield oversees almost 165,000 Catholics in 79 parishes in the four westernmost counties of Massachusetts.