SPRINGFIELD – Springfield Bishop William D. Byrne was elected chairman-elect of the United Stated Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Communications at the annual Fall Plenary Assembly in Baltimore this week. The bishops also elected a conference secretary and chairmen for five other committees.
Bishop Byrne will serve one year as chairman elect, before beginning a three-year term at the conclusion of the bishops’ 2024 Fall General Assembly.
“I am truly honored to have been elected by my brother bishops as chairman-elect of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Communications. Bringing the ‘Good News’ into our world has never been more urgent and needed,” said Bishop Byrne.
“The various communication platforms and tools at our disposal are both a blessing and a challenge. I look forward to working with the communications team at the USCCB and my fellow committee members in confronting these challenges,” he said.
Under Bishop Byrne’s leadership, the Diocese of Springfield has enhanced the use of social media, promoting Catholic news, events, and religious teachings. Bishop Byrne also tapes “Spiritual Shorts,” short reflections on feast days or other issues affecting Catholics.
When he was a priest in the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C., Bishop Byrne produced YouTube videos called “Five Things,” highlighting five life hacks, prayer starters, or spiritual meditations to help people to grow closer to God. The series was so popular that it has been developed into a book, Five Things with Fr. Bill, published by Loyola Press.
The Diocese of Springfield also produces “Real to Reel,” a Catholic magazine news program, which airs Saturdays on WWLP-22News, in addition to the televised Mass, “Chalice of Salvation,” which airs Sundays on WWLP-22News.
The USCCB website states that the Committee on Communications “seeks to support the work of evangelization and faith formation through a comprehensive approach to media that includes media relations, media production and programming, policy, review of entertainment media, publishing, distribution, and licensing with sensitivity towards culturally diverse communities.”
Among the responsibilities of the committee are providing information about the activities of the USCCB and the church; collaborating with other committees on responses to issues of significance to the church; developing and approving USCCB public policy positions related to the media; and “assisting the Holy See in conveying papal statements and addressing other Vatican media issues.”
More on the work and responsibilities of the USCCB Committee on Communications can be found at Communications | USCCB.