Rev. John P. Byrnes



Reverend John Patrick Byrnes, 95, a retired Priest for the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey and the United States Navy died on October 26, 2011. He was born in Boston and graduated from South Boston High School and Villanova University. He entered Immaculate Conception Seminary in the Diocese of Trenton, New Jersey and was ordained to the priesthood on March 17, 1945. Initially, he was assigned to St. James Catholic Church in Red Bank, New Jersey and taught at Red Bank Catholic High School where he was also the Director of Athletics. He also coached baseball, basketball, and introduced football at the high school. Later, he was assigned to St. Raphael’s Church in White Horse, New Jersey and St. Peter’s in New Brunswick, New Jersey where he also served as Athletic Director at St. Peter’s High School.

In 1951, Father Byrnes entered the U.S. Navy and enjoyed a military career that spanned twenty years. He was stationed with the 3rd Marine Brigade. 3rd Marine Division Camp Pendleton, California and then transferred to the 7th Marine Regt., 1st Marine Division, FMF, Korea. He was wounded in action and received both the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star with the Combat “V”. Returning home, he was stationed at MCAS, Cherry Point, North Carolina before shipping out to Comflacts, Sasebo, Japan. After another stint at camp Pendleton, he then served aboard the USS Bon Homme Richard, CVA 31 in Vietnam. Back in the U.S. he was then stationed at the Marine Corps Supply Center in Barstow, California, the U.S. Naval Station, Midway Island, and with the 4th marine Brigade, FMF, Hawaii. Fr. Byrnes continued his service making the amphibious assault landing at Chulai, Vietnam and then became part of the 1st Marine Division FMF. Other assignments included his chaplaincy at Quonset Point Naval Air Station, followed by his service on the USS New Jersey, BB62 in Vietnam.

Fr. Byrnes retired from the military in 1971 when he was the chaplain at the Chelsea Naval Hospital. Continuing his life of service, Fr. Byrnes was a chaplain at the VA hospitals in Tampa, Florida, as well as Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury, MA.

Brother of the late Christine McNamara, George V. Byrnes, Paul J. Byrnes, Elizabeth Anne Early, he is survived by  his sisters Louise Sullivan, formerly of Melrose, Winifred Lynch of Quincy and Patricia Parent of Lexington.

The Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated on Friday, October 29 at 10:00 a.m. at Marian Manor in South Boston. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Rev. Byrne’s memory to Marian Manor, 130 Dorchester St. South Boston, MA 02127.