Father J. Michael Byron, 62, of Eden Prairie, passed away on May 20.
“Father Mike” will be dearly missed by his family, many friends, parishioners and all whom he impacted in the Twin Cities community and beyond.
He was preceded in death by his parents, John P. and Mary L. Byron.
Survived by siblings Molly (Jeff) Hill, Minnetonka; Jim Byron, Scottsdale, Arizona; Martha Byron, Eden Prairie; Joe (Deb) Byron, Duluth; and Anne (Ryan) Anderson, Blaine. He is also survived by nieces and nephews, Matthew, Sarah (L.J.), and Chris Hill; Michael and J.T. Byron, and Victoria Anderson. His loving extended family includes many cousins, aunts and uncles.
Mike grew up in Our Lady of Grace parish in Edina, graduated from Edina West High School, and continued his education at St. John’s University, the St. Paul Seminary, and the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he received his doctorate in theology. He carried forward many lifelong friendships from each stop along the way.
Father Mike was ordained on May 27, 1989, and served with compassion, wisdom and intelligence for 33 years at several parishes in the Twin Cities, including Church of the Assumption, Richfield; St. Olaf Catholic Church, Minneapolis; Church of St. Cecilia, St. Paul; The Church of St. Pascal Baylon, St. Paul and most recently Pax Christi Catholic Community, Eden Prairie.
Mike’s list of gifts was long. He was warm and welcoming. He had a beautiful Irish tenor singing voice as well as a hilarious sense of humor. His lifetime love of learning led to his role as a talented teacher, sharing his knowledge over many years with students at Holy Angels, St. John’s University, St. Kate’s, and the St. Paul Seminary. He was a gifted homilist, deep thinker, skilled writer, caring mentor, and good listener.
As the eldest of six siblings, Mike was our quiet leader and an unfailing source of love and support. His warmth and often irreverent humor was a consistent, reassuring presence in our lives. He will be forever missed.
Visitation is from 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 1, at Pax Christi Catholic Community, 12100 Pioneer Trail, Eden Prairie. Mass of Christian Burial is at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 2, with lunch to follow. Archbishop Bernard Hebda is presiding. Visitation is from 9 to 10:45 a.m. before the service.
Livestream provided on the Pax Christi website.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the J. Michael Byron Memorial Fund. Washburn-McReavy Edina Chapel is handling arrangements.