Father Thomas Byles was born February 24,1870 in Leeds, Yorkshire, England. He was the eldest of seven children. His father was a Congregationalist minister and his mother was a housewife. While attending Oxford University he converted to Anglicanism. In 1899, he converted to Catholicism and in 1902, he was ordained a priest. From 1905 till his death, he was the pastor of St Helen’s Parish in Chipping Ongar, Essex. On April 10,1912, he boarded the RMS Titanic bound to New York City. The reason for the trip was perform the wedding Marriage of his brother and fiancee. On April 14,1912, the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg off the coast of Cape Race, Newfoundland, Canada. When the liner was sinking, he recited the Rosary, heard confessions, and gave absolution to more than a hundred passengers who remained trapped on the stern of the ship after all of the lifeboats had been launched. He twice refused to board a lifeboat. He perished in the sinking on April 15,1912. He is a candidate for Sainthood in the Catholic Church.
Father Thomas Byles: A Saint of the RMS Titanic