Pope Francis has named Most Reverend Michael J. Byrnes, up until now Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit, as Coadjutor Archbishop of the Diocese of Agana. The territory of the archdiocese of Agana comprises the island of Guam.
The appointment was made public in Washington, October 31, by Archbishop Christophe Pierre, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States.
Michael J. Byrnes was born in Detroit, Michigan, on Aug. 23, 1958. He pursued seminary studies at Sacred Heart Major Seminary in Detroit and was ordained a priest on May 25, 1996.
Assignments after ordination included serving as associate pastor at St. Joan of Arc Parish in St. Clair Shores and as an adjunct faculty member at Sacred Heart Major Seminary. He pursued post-graduate studies in 1999, at the Pontifical Gregorian University where he earned a Doctorate in Sacred Theology in 2003. Returning to Detroit, he joined the faculty of Sacred Heart Major Seminary and served as a weekend assistant at three Detroit parishes: Presentation/ Our Lady of Victory, St. Gregory the Great, and the Church of the Madonna. In 2004, he was named vice rector of Sacred Heart Major Seminary and served as pastor of Presentation/Our Lady of Victory.
Archbishop Byrnes was appointed auxiliary bishop of Detroit and titular bishop of Eguga, Tunisia, on March 22, 2011. He was ordained auxiliary bishop of Detroit, May, 5, 2011 and serves as episcopal vicar and regional moderator for the Northeast Region of the archdiocese. The appointment as coadjutor archbishop confers on Archbishop Byrnes the full power of a diocesan archbishop.
The diocese of Agana was established on October 14, 1965, as a suffragan of the Archdiocese of San Francisco, California. The diocese was elevated to a Metropolitan Archdiocese, May 20, 1984, with suffragan Sees of the Diocese of the Caroline Marshalls and Diocese of Chalan Kanoa (subsequently added January 13, 1985). A member of the Episcopal Conference of the Pacific (CEPAC) and of the Federation of Catholic Bishops Conference of Oceania (FCBCO), the archdiocese is also an observer to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. Guam is an unincorporated Territory of the U.S.A. by an Act of U.S. Congress, July 21, 1949.
The Archdiocese of Agana comprises 215 square miles and has a population of 155,687 people, of whom 132,494 or 85%, are Catholic. The island, the largest and southernmost of the Marianas Islands, is located in the western Pacific.