Meet Bishop William Byrne

It was an honor and a pleasure to speak with Bishop Byrne about his priesthood, new appointment as Bishop of Springfield, MA and his new book.

Things to know about Bishop Byrne

He grew up in Washington, D.C. , the youngest of 8 children. When he told his parents his parents he wanted to become a priest his mother encouraged him to work first before entering seminary because she didn’t want a son who “was” a priest. He listened to his mom and taught at school for a time. The call to the priesthood remained though and he responded. He was ordained a priest in 1994. In October of 2020 he received a phone call with the news that Pope Francis had appointed him Bishop. He was ordained and installed as the 10th Bishop of Springfield in December 2020 by Cardinal Sean O’Malley.

How did he come to write a book?

Bishop Byrne’s book, 5 Things with Father Bill: Hope, Humor, and Help for the Soul , published by Loyola Press came out of a video series he did when he was in the Washington D.C. diocese. The series is on YouTube; the videos are short, but have meaningful content.

The book is similar, 50 short chapter, no more than a few pages each with topic ranging from dogs to blessing to gifts to every day life. After a short introduction, Bishop Byrne gives 5 things that can do, pray, think, change that will help in your faith life. All very relatable and helpful.

This was a fun interview and I hope you enjoy it. Follow Bishop Byrne on Instagram. 

For our challenge this week consider writing your own list of 5 things about your faith that you are passionate about. I’ll share mine in the next episode.

Sign up for my scripture reflection or monthly newsletter and get a sample chapter of my bible study.

Becoming Holy, One Virtue at a Time

Deep down, I think we all long for holiness – yet it seems unattainable or at least, very difficult. But Sara Estabrooks has given us guidance in the form of a new bible study that is part of the series of the Stay Connected Journals published by Our Sunday Visitor.

Sara and I spoke about how she came to study the virtues and the impact it has on her daily life. She began studying about virtues after her marriage when she realized that marriage did not automatically make her holy. She then read The Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales and realized that while she intellectually understood the virtues, she was not necessarily practicing them in her daily life. Her study takes a look at the 3 theological virtues – faith, hope and love, and the 4 cardinal virtues of prudence, justice, temperance and fortitude.grow in virtue

The cardinal virtues are the basis for all the virtues in life and help us become holy because we are all called to be holy! Sara also talked about how we don’t get the virtue and then we are done. We are called to continuously grow in each virtue so that we embrace our call to holiness.

The book itself has 7 chapters and each chapter can easily be done with a small group in an hour and a half, making it ideal for group study. If you preorder, Sara has some beautiful prints you can download as her gift to you.

If you are looking for a bible study to start the year with, take a look at Becoming Holy, One Virtue at a Time!

You can learn more about Sara and her work at To Jesus, Sincerely, Facebook and Instagram.

You can order her book and get your pre-order gifts here.

the not lukewarm challenge

 

 

Choose a virtue this week and focus on practicing it each day.

 

Don’t Forget to Say Thank You by Lindsay Schlegel 

A book review and interview with Lindsay Schlegel, author of Don’t Forget to Say Thank You: And Other Parenting Lessons That Brought Me Closer to God. 

I’m sure many of us can say “don’t forget” is a common refrain we say to ourselves and others, parents or not. Our vocation is holinessLindsay Schlegel talks about how she came to realize that the things she was repeatably saying to her children were probably many of the same things God was or could be saying to her. This book brings home that point that often, in the spiritual life, we are very much like the children or people in our lives who need reminding to do what needs to be done. Of course, we often fail to see our own flaws while being quick to see others. As I read the book and then talked with Lindsay all of that was refreshed in mind. In fact, I often tell people when I speak, either in person or on this podcast, that what I am saying to you is what I need to hear for myself!

What is our Vocation?

Lindsay brings out the point that God calls us to holiness through our vocation. And our vocation is not the same as our job or career. Our vocation is how we live out our life. Marriage, parenthood, ministry – are all examples of a vocation. Our vocation is our path to holiness and becoming holy is a life-long process. I love Lindsay’s comment, “Be the hands and feet you need to be.” That is really the path to holiness, isn’t it?

Learn more about the book and Lindsay

This would be a great book for moms. Each chapter is short and concise, with a prayer, questions for reflection and a saint to call on for that particular topic. And while I read the book in order, each chapter is self-contained so you could read whatever chapter matched the area in need of support for you at that moment.

You can order the book at Ave Maris Press. There is also a free guide to download for book groups. You can learn more about Lindsay on her website, and follow her on Facebook or Instagram.

 

the not lukewarm challengeThis week, let’s mind our manners! No matter if we are rushed or tired or overworked – do your best to be your best. Good manners cost us nothing but can go a long way in helping other people enjoy our presence, even if it’s just those minutes checking out at the supermarket or grabbing your to-go order at a restaurant. People are often starved for kindness and appreciation, so spread some cheer, no matter what season and mind your manners!