Fr. George Byrne, the founding pastor of St. William of York, later to become St. Thérèse of Carmel, passed away on Sunday, January 8, 2023.
Fr. George is originally from New Rochelle, NY, and was an engineer for a defense contractor before answering the call to the Priesthood. In 2019 he celebrated his 50th year since his ordination as a Roman Catholic priest, having retired from full time ministry several years before. In addition to being the pastor of St. William of York, he had in his younger years been a special advisor to the Diocese on broadcasting and communications, ushering in the age of Mass on television long before the advent of streaming services and the internet. He was chaplain to a local hospice, bringing care and comfort to those in need of both.
Fr. George very much appreciated his friends and former parishioners from St. Thérèse of Carmel for their kindness and assistance to him later in life, often in the form of meals, rides, conversation, and companionship. He was very thankful for his personal support group of fellow Clergy from the Roman Catholic Diocese of San Diego - his lifelong friends until the end. He was also grateful for the efforts of Helen Glenister who (with some assistance from her husband Dave) managed the restoration of his residence, handled his personal affairs, and coordinated with his care facilities in the final year of his life. He was especially appreciative of Nazareth House of San Diego, his final residence, for treating him with care, kindness, respect, and dignity.
Fr. George Byrne is predeceased by his parents, Bridget G. Byrne and Thomas P. Byrne (of County Mayo, Ireland), and by his brothers Thomas P. Byrne and John J. Byrne
Fr. George is survived by:
His nephew, Rudolph T. Byrne (of Little Rock, Arkansas)
His niece, Cynthia G. Vermeulen-Byrne (of Wassenaar, The Netherlands)
His sister-in-law, Mady Byrne (of Wassenaar, The Netherlands)
His grandnephews and grandnieces: Jillian C. Harper, Christopher M. Byrne, Timothy A. Byrne, Kaleigh M. Byrne, Max Krul, and Meghann Krul
A Mass of Christian Burial for Fr. George will be held at St. Thérèse of Carmel on Friday, January 13, 2023 at 1:30 PM. All are welcome.