Learn more about Bishop Coyne

Bishop Christopher James CoyneBishop Christopher James Coyne was born on June 17, 1958, the 4th son of William and Rita Coyne.  He and his six siblings (three brothers, three sisters) grew up in Woburn MA.  Bishop Coyne attended Woburn High School, graduating with the class of 1976 and the University of Lowell (now UMass-Lowell) graduating with a BA in Business Administration in 1980.  He entered St. John Seminary in Brighton MA in the fall of 1981 and was ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Boston on June 7, 1986.

Bishop Coyne’s first assignment was to St. Mary of the Hills Parish in Milton MA until he was sent away for further studies in May of 1989.  After a year of language studies at Harvard and Boston College, he entered the Pontifical Liturgical Institute at St. Anselmo in Rome, Italy, obtaining a License in Sacred Liturgy in 1992 and a Doctorate in 1994.   Returning to the United States, Bishop Coyne was appointed in 1994 to the faculty of St. John Seminary in Brighton MA as the professor of sacred liturgy and homiletics.  From 1994 to 2005, he served as weekend priest at St. Edward the Confessor Parish in Medfield, MA.

While serving on the faculty, Bishop Coyne wrote and hosted four television series for Boston Catholic Television, one of which – “Sacred Space” – was nominated for a regional Emmy award.  In 2001, he was appointed Director of the Office for Worship for the Archdiocese of Boston while remaining on the faculty of St. John's Seminary.  When the clergy abuse crisis broke in January 2002, Bishop Coyne was asked to take on the role of media spokesperson for the archdiocese and was subsequently named Cabinet Secretary for Communications in May of that year.  He served as cabinet secretary and media spokesperson until May of 2005.

After a brief stop as pastor of Our Lady Help of Christians in Newton, MA, he was appointed pastor of St. Margaret Parish in Westwood MA in May of 2006, happily serving there until February 2011.  During that time he was able to create and post on his blog, “Let us walk together in faith: thoughts of a Catholic priest.” 

He was named auxiliary bishop of Indianapolis IN on January 14, 2011 and was ordained a bishop on March 2, 2011.  He was appointed on September 21, 2011 by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI as the Apostolic Administrator for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, a position he served until Archbishop Joseph W. Tobin was installed on December 3, 2014. He currently serves on the USCCB Committee on Evangelization and Catechesis and the Committee representative to the Subcommittee on Certification for Ecclesial Ministry and Service.

Bishop Coyne's most recent assignment in the archdiocese is to serve in episcopal ministry and assisting in special responsibilities in the New Albany, Seymour and Tell City deaneries and as administrator of Sacred Heart of Jesus and St Augustine parishes in Jeffersonville.

On January 29, 2015 he was installed as the Bishop of Burlington, VT, ending his service here.


More about the bishop:

  • Family—One of seven children of William and Rita Coyne of Woburn, Mass. Uncle of 11 nieces and nephews.
  • Favorite saint—“I’ve always liked the Little Flower, St. Thérèse of Lisieux. I think her idea of love of God each and every day, in small moments, is the right way to go. I think that’s how most of us live our lives.”
  • Favorite sports team—New England Patriots. “My family has always been, from the beginning, Boston Patriots’ and New England Patriots’ fans. We can tell you all the stories in their history. My happiest sports memory is their first Super Bowl win. I’m looking forward to seeing the continuance of the rivalry between the Patriots and the [Indianapolis] Colts.”
  • Favorite prayer—“Being a liturgist, I like the official prayer of the Church—the Liturgy of the Hours. I’ve always felt that it’s a good start for the day.”
  • Favorite books, authors—“I’m a voracious reader. I love my Kindle. I read all types of books—thrillers, science fiction, biographies. Right now, I’m reading the Holy Father’s latest book [Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times]. I’m also reading American Grace, a fine book on religion and American culture.” †

To learn more about Bishop Coyne, read this article originally published in our official archdiocesan newspaper, The Criterion.

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