Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., addresses the congregation during the June 17 Mass he celebrated in St. Rose Church, Belmar, in recognition of Christian Brother Frank Byrne’s retirement as president of Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft. 
Joe Moore photo
Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., addresses the congregation during the June 17 Mass he celebrated in St. Rose Church, Belmar, in recognition of Christian Brother Frank Byrne’s retirement as president of Christian Brothers Academy, Lincroft. Joe Moore photo
The Diocese of Trenton and Christian Brothers Academy community feted the legacy of their outgoing president during two liturgies celebrated this June. Christian Brother Frank Byrne was recognized for his 12 years of leadership at the Lincroft academy as he prepared for his next role: assignment as Auxiliary Provincial for Brothers’ District of Eastern North America as of Sept. 1.

On June 17, Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., was principal celebrant of a Mass held in honor of Brother Frank in St. Rose Parish, Belmar. Concelebrants included the parish’s pastor, Msgr. Edward J. Arnister; and parochial vicar, Father Christopher Dayton, an alumnus of CBA, as well as Father Garry Koch, pastor of St. Benedict Parish, Holmdel. Father Koch, who also served as homilist at the Mass, had taught at CBA prior to entering the seminary.

Two days later the CBA community gathered to celebrate Brother Frank’s presidency with a Mass and reception on campus. Longtime CBA chaplains Father Koch and Father John T. Folchetti, pastor of St. Leo the Great Parish, Lincroft, concelebrated the Mass attended by hundreds of alumni, students, parents, faculty and friends. Fellow CBA ’75 classmate, Bill Moss, introduced Brother Frank for his farewell address.

In 2009, Brother Frank was named the second president in CBA history. During his tenure, he oversaw the additions of the Quinn Library & Media Center; new administrative and guidance office suites; multiple new classrooms and labs, and an expanded fitness center. As a CBA alumnus, Brother Frank made alumni participation one of his priorities; he instituted alumni events across the country, networking nights in Monmouth County and New York City, and five-year reunions at every end-of-year Family BBQ.

The Academy earned the National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence for high performing schools in 2017 for the second time in school history, and with religious-led expanding of the school’s scholarship and financial aid offerings, now has 84 named scholarships and awards $1.9 million each year in scholarships and aid. “Forever CBA: Securing Our Mission,” the second capital campaign under his leadership, was launched in 2019 and to date has raised $10.8 million of its $12 million goal.

Reflecting upon his 12-year tenure as president, Brother Frank posted a message of thanks on the school’s website which read, “The hallmark of any Lasallian institution is dedicated people working together to provide an excellent Catholic education, and this has certainly been my experience at CBA. The best part of my job was getting to interact with so many of those wonderfully dedicated people… I have been truly blessed by getting to know close to 3,000 students over my time here. They are outstanding young men, and it has been a privilege to work with them as students and watch them graduate and become the young men God has called them to be.”