Born Joseph Michael Byrnes on April 17, 1910 in Jersey City, New Jersey, he attended St. John’s Grammar School. After graduation from eighth grade he entered the Passionist Preparatory Seminary in Dunkirk, New York. In 1931 he went to the Passionist novitiate in West Springfield, Massachusetts and professed his vows on August 15, 1931. His religious name was Leo. He was ordained on May 30, 1938 by Bishop Francis Spellman at St. Gabriel’s, Brighton, Massachusetts. In 1942 Father Byrnes became the fifteenth member of the province to become a military chaplain. He saw action in the Pacific – New Guinea, the Philippines and Japan. In 1945 he worked with Black Catholics in North Carolina. From 1946 until 1971 he was a preacher of parish missions. In 1972 he was assigned to the front door apostolate.
April 17, 1910
August 15, 1931
March 30, 1938
March 1, 1980
Leo of the Hearts of Jesus & Mary Byrnes