NORTHFIELD, MA — On Friday, March 5, Thomas Aquinas College, New England, was blessed with a visit from its newly appointed bishop, the Most Rev. William D. Byrne.
His Excellency arrived on the Northfield, Massachusetts, campus in the morning for a meeting with College officials. He then offered the midday Mass in Our Mother of Perpetual Help Chapel (still under construction), during which he blessed the Stations of the Cross and a recently acquired statue of St. Joseph. The Bishop then joined students for lunch in the Gould Commons.
“A word of thanks to Dean Kaiser and to Fr. Markey for inviting me to be here … and for the privilege of being able to bless St. Joseph in this, his year, and the Stations of the Cross,” His Excellency remarked at the end of his homily. “I look forward to being here with you many times.”
Ever since the previous Bishop of Springfield, Massachusetts — the Most Rev. Mitchell Rozanski — was transferred to St. Louis last June, the College has eagerly anticipated the appointment of a new shepherd, praying regularly for a holy and faithful leader. In October, His Holiness Pope Francis appointed Bishop Byrne to the Diocese of Springfield; two months later, His Excellency was installed as the diocese’ tenth bishop.
Formerly a priest in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., Bishop Byrne demonstrated himself to be a zealous evangelist of the Catholic faith when he served as a chaplain at the University of Maryland and the pastor at various parishes around the nation’s capital. He is also a well-known columnist and YouTube personality due to his popular video series, Five Things.
“We feel very blessed to have him as our bishop,” says Dr. Thomas J. Kaiser, dean of the New England campus. “We prayed hard before a bishop was appointed, and I don’t think we could have gotten anyone better.”
About Thomas Aquinas College
A four-year, co-educational institution with campuses in California and Massachusetts, Thomas Aquinas College has developed over the past 49 years a solid reputation for academic excellence in the United States and abroad. It is highly ranked by organizations such as The Princeton Review, U. S. News, and Kiplinger. At Thomas Aquinas College all students acquire a broad and fully integrated liberal education. The College offers one, four-year, classical curriculum that spans the major arts and sciences. Instead of reading textbooks, students read the original works of the greatest thinkers in Western civilization — the Great Books — in all the major disciplines: mathematics, natural science, literature, philosophy, and theology. The academic life of the college is conducted under the light of the Catholic faith and flourishes within a close-knit community, supported by a vibrant spiritual life. Graduates consistently excel in the many world-class institutions at which they pursue graduate degrees in fields such as law, medicine, business, theology and education. They have distinguished themselves serving as lawyers, doctors, business owners, priests, military service men and women, educators, journalists and college presidents. For additional information, visit www.thomasaquinas.edu.