Oldest priest in Cincinnati Archdiocese dies

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The man who was the Archdiocese of Cincinnati's oldest priest has died.

Rev. James O. Byrne , died at St. Charles Center in Carthagena, Ohio, on Wednesday, July 6. He was 99-years-old.

Rev. Byrne was born August 28, 1911 in Glynwood, Ohio. He studied at St. Gregory Seminary. Then he studied theology and philosophy at Mount St. Mary's Seminary of the West in Norwood. He was ordained a priest on May 22, 1937 at St. Peter in Chains Cathedral in Cincinnati by then Archbishop John T. McNicholas.

Rev. Byrne received his first assignment, in June of 1937, as associate pastor at St. Patrick Church in Northside. In 1942 he was appointed procurator at Purcell High School in Cincinnati, where he served until 1954. While there, he was also appointed associate pastor at Nativity of Our Lord Church, Pleasant Ridge. He served there until 1951.

From 1951 through 1954, he was appointed associate pastor of St. Francis de Sales Church in Walnut Hills.

Rev. Byrne also served as pastor of the following parishes: St. Paul, Yellow Springs (1954-1955); St. Paul, Over-the Rhine, Cincinnati (1955-1960); St. Anthony, Madisonville (1960-1962); St. Mary, Urbana (1962-1967); and St. Albert the Great, Kettering (1967-1980).

During his years of ministry he was also a member of the Archdiocesan School Board and chaplain of the Legion of Mary, Curia of Northern Ohio. He retired from parish administration in 1980. In 2004 he moved to St. Charles Center.

Reception of the body will take place at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 10, at Holy Rosary Church in St. Marys. Visitation will continue until 8 p.m.

Funeral will be take place at 2 p.m. Monday, July 11, at Holy Rosary Church. Burial will follow at St. Thomas Cemetery in St. Marys.

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