Rev. John Byrnes O.S.A.

Rev. John J. Byrnes O.S.A.

Saturday, March 20th, 1926 - Friday, May 8th, 2020
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VILLANOVA, PA Father John Joseph Byrnes, O.S.A.,94, passed over to the Lord of natural causes,on May 8, 2020, the Feast of Our Lady of Grace, in the70th year of his religious profession. Among his many priestly assignments, Fr. Byrnes served the parish communities of St. Augustine’s Church in Troy (1978) and St.Mary of the Assumption Parish in Waterford (1983-1997) for fourteen years.

Fr. Byrnes was born on March 20, 1926, in Milton,Massachusetts, the son of Thomas N.Byrnes and Mary McGill. He had two brothers and three sisters. He was baptized on April 18, 1926, at Sacred Heart Church, Quincy,and attended Francis Parker Grammar School, North Quincy, and North Quincy High School. He served in the Army Air Corps from 1944 until 1946, after which he attended the School of Saint Philip Neri for Delayed Vocations for one year. He then enrolled at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, as a postulant, and was received into the Order as a novice on September 9,1948. Following formation at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, NewYork, John professed simple vows on September 10, 1949. He attended Villanova College and received his BA in Philosophy in 1952,after which he was assigned to Augustinian College, Washington, DC, for theological studies for the next four years. While there he also received an MA in Geography from the Catholic University of America in 1956.Father Byrnes professed solemn vows on September 10, 1952 and was ordained to the priesthood on June 4, 1955, at the Shrine of the Immaculate Conception,Washington, DC, by Bishop John McNamara.

Father Byrnes was assigned to teach at Msgr. Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania from 1956 to 1965. In 1964, he received a MA in Education from Villanova University. From 1965 to 1968 he was assigned to Saint Mary’s Hall, the Augustinian Collegiate Formation House at Villanova, where he served as procurator and teacher. From1968 to 1971 he was a member of Saint Thomas Monastery and served as the Director of the Seminary Guild and Director of the Augustinian Seculars. In1971 he became a member of the preaching staff at Mount Augustine Retreat House,Staten Island, New York, but returned to Villanova University in 1973 as Dean of Students and dorm prefect while a member of Saint Thomas Monastery. Following his brief assignment at Saint Augustine Parish Troy,he was appointed pastor of Saint Laurence O’Toole Parish,Lawrence,Massachusetts. From 1980 to 1982 he was pastor of Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish, Bronx, New York, and in 1982-1983 was pastor of Saint Augustine Parish, Lawrence, Massachusetts. From 1983 to 1997he served at Saint Mary of Assumption Parish, Waterford, New York. He then served at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish, Dania Beach, Florida,(1997-1998).Father Byrnes was assigned to Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Parish,Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1998 as associate pastor and served there until May 2016, when, at the age of 90, he retired to Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery.

Father John Byrnes was an affable friar, a zealous priest, a loyal advocate for the Pro-Life movement and a devoted son of the Blessed Mother. Until shortly before his death at 94 years of age, he continued to be an active member of the monastery community until debilitating health kept him confined to the community Health Care Facility.

For information on a Memorial Mass for Fr. Brynes to be celebrated at a later date check our website at

The Augustinian Community requests that donations be made in memory of Fr. Byrnes to The Augustinian Fund, Care of Sick and Elderly, P.O. Box 340, Villanova, PA 19085.
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  • Army Air Corps
  • Crucifix
  • Roman Catholic Church
  • Villanova University


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Michelle Cleveland

Posted at 09:22am
Father Byrnes married my husband and I 30 years ago this month. I am so sorry to hear of his passing. He was a wonderful man. He was so kind and helpful to us . I am sure he will be truly missed by all who knew him. My thoughts and prayers are with his friends and family at this very sad and difficult time.
Much Love ,
Michelle and Donald Cleveland

timothy j. fogarty

Posted at 08:43am
I am so sorry to learn of Fr. Byrnes' passing. As chaplain of the Waterford Council K of C he was a guiding light of zealous dedication to the life of the unborn and an enormous devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. While we are left behind sense that we lost Father twice - from ministry and now from life - we know he is in the joyful life of Gods good graces. God Bless.

Stacy Hall

Posted at 02:55am
I’m so sorry to hear of his passing. He helped me out once and gave me such words of encouragement that I really needed them. He was a wonderful man and will be surely missed.

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