Speaker, Sister Deirdre Byrne
Sister Deirdre Byrne is an active missionary sister and superior of her community in Washington, D.C. She is double board-certified as a doctor in family medicine and general surgery. A native of the Washington, D.C. area, Sister Deirdre (known to many as Sister DeDe) is one of eight siblings, attended Langley High School, and graduated from Virginia Tech, before she entered medical school at Georgetown University. During that time, she also joined the Army.
In 2009 after 29 years of service, Sister DeDe retired with the rank of Colonel. After a life of medical and military service in far ranging areas, she was led to the Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Her apostolate has been performing overseas medical missionary surgery and providing free medical care for the poor and uninsured.
Over the years, Sister Deirdre found it easy to integrate her medical and military service into her religious vocation. She was extremely grateful for the opportunity to have served the "brave soldiers" while deployed to Afghanistan. Though comfortable in scrubs, she wears a full black or a white working habit when she can and is grateful for the impact it has on those to whom she ministers. Currently, she is the superior of the D.C. Little Workers of the Sacred Hearts house near Catholic University, where the sisters run a pro-bono physical therapy clinic and diabetic eye clinic, retirement home for her elderly sisters as well as a music school for pre-school children.
Sister DeDe was a distinguished speaker at the Republican National Convention (RNC) on August 26, 2020, where she famously said "I'm not just pro-life, I'm pro eternal life."