Obituary: Father Thomas Henry Byrne

05 Oct 2023

By The Record

Fr Thomas Henry Byrne, far left, at the anniversary of Lynwood Langford Parish in 2018. Photo: Matthew Lau/Archdiocese of Perth.

Father (Thomas) Henry Byrne, Priest of the Archdiocese of Perth, was laid to rest after a Pontifical Requiem Mass held at Our Lady of Grace Parish, North Beach on Friday 25 August. He passed away 14 August 2023.

The service was led by Principal Celebrant Archbishop Timothy Costelloe SDB.

Concelebrants for the Mass included Auxiliary Bishop Donald Sproxton VG, Vicar General, the Very Rev Fr Peter Whitely VG, North Beach Parish Priest Fr Hyginus Ebede, Emeritus Archbishop Barry James Hickey in addition to several other priests from across the Archdiocese of Perth.

Thomas Henry Bryne, known as Henry, was born at Hallyhale, Kilkenny Ireland on 29 November 1931.  His parents were Michael and Josephine Byrne and his elder brother Michael was also ordained for the Archdiocese of Perth.

Fr Henry Byrne in 1998. Father Henry, as he was known, was educated at Ballyhale Primary School and St Kieran’s High School in Kilkenny. Photo: Supplied.

Father Henry, as he was known, was educated at Ballyhale Primary School and St Kieran’s High School in Kilkenny.

He studied for the priestly ministry at nearby St Kieran’s Seminary Kilkenny and was ordained at St Mary’s Cathedral for his ministry in Perth in Kilkenny on 3 June 1956.n

As with many new residents of Perth in the 1950’s, Father Henry arrived by boat in Perth on 5 December 1956 onboard the Otranto.

He became an Australian citizen nine years later in 1974.

Fr Henry Byrne in 1998. Fr Henry served in the Parishes of Maylands, Kalgoorlie, Shenton Park, South Perth, Claremont, Beverley, Lynwood, and Scarborough and retired from full-time parish life in March 2001. Photo: Supplied.

Fr Henry served in the Parishes of Maylands, Kalgoorlie, Shenton Park, South Perth, Claremont, Beverley, Lynwood, and Scarborough and retired from full-time parish life in March 2001.

A few months after his retirement, Father Henry became a helper to Father Ken Keating at Our Lady of Grace North Beach and celebrated his 50th Anniversary of priesthood at this parish in June 2006.

Father Henry was a keen sportsman enjoying golf, tennis, duck-shooting and supporting football.

Fr Henry Byrne at the anniversary of the Lynwood Langford Parish in 2018. Photo: Supplied.

A Gaelic Blessing.

Deep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the gentle night to you.
Moon and stars pour their healing light on you.
Deep peace of Christ, of Christ the light of the world to you.
Deep peace of Christ to you.

As with many new residents of Perth in the 1950’s, Father Henry arrived by boat in Perth on 5 December 1956 onboard the Otranto. Photo: Supplied.
Fr Byrne, fifth from left, back, with fellow clergy at the retired priests and clergy luncheon in 2019. Photo: Supplied.