Edward Byrne was born at Auburn on 1 December 1880. On 10 June 1905, he was ordained to the Roman Catholic priesthood at St. Bernard's Seminary, Rochester, where he had completed his theological studies. In 1908, he was awarded a Doctor of Sacred Theology (S.T.D.) degree from the same seminary. His studies were continued at l'Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem and at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, where he earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree. Upon the completion of his graduate studies, he returned to Rochester as a member of the faculty of his alma mater.
Monsignor Byrne was a professor of Sacred Scripture at the diocesan seminary until his death in 1952. in addition, he actively pursued his interest in the history of Rochester and the history of the labors of French Jesuit missionaries among the Iroquois. With his friend Alexander M. Stewart, he lobbied successfully for the dedication of new bridge at Free Bridge to the memory of Fr. Rene Menard.