Archdiocese names new chancellor

OKLAHOMA CITY (Aug. 29, 2017) – The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City announced Monday the hiring of attorney Justin Byrne as the diocese’s new chancellor. Byrne begins Sept. 11.

Byrne fills a position held by Loutitia Denison Eason for more than 13 years. Eason retired in July.

“I am delighted that Justin has accepted the offer to serve as chancellor for the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City. His deep personal faith, longtime involvement in the local Catholic community and his outstanding professional experience and sense of mission make him an excellent fit for this key position,” said the Most Rev. Paul S. Coakley, Archbishop of Oklahoma City.

As chancellor, Byrne will serve as a principal leader in the diocesan curia. He will serve as canonical adviser to the bishop and will be the top adviser on legal matters and interpretation of laws, rulings and regulations.
“This is the perfect opportunity for me to merge my professional experience and skills with my personal faith in a very meaningful and fulfilling way,” Byrne said. “I am humbled to be in this position, and I look forward to collaborating with Archbishop Coakley and other leaders of the diocese to strengthen the Catholic Church in Oklahoma and to carry on the archbishop’s call to go make disciples.”

Byrne, who is bilingual in English and Spanish, has practiced law in Oklahoma City since 2002 after earning a juris doctorate from the University of Texas in 2000. He earned a bachelor’s degree in history and Spanish from the University of Tulsa in 1997.

After practicing law at a national firm in Dallas, Byrne returned to Oklahoma, working as an attorney at Kerr-McGee Corporation, Devon Energy Corporation and SandRidge Energy Inc. Most recently, Byrne served as associate general counsel at SandRidge where he was responsible for a broad array of matters, and directed transactions valued at more than $19 billion.  

Byrne and his wife, Rosa, both graduates of Sacred Heart Catholic School and Mount Saint Mary Catholic High School in Oklahoma City, are parishioners at Saint Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Oklahoma City. Their two sons, Julian and Gabriel, attend Rosary Catholic School.

The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City serves Catholics in central and western Oklahoma, covering 46 counties and 42,470 square miles. The original Diocese of Oklahoma erected in 1905, became the Diocese of Oklahoma City and Tulsa in 1930, and then the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City and the Diocese of Tulsa in 1972.