SPOKANE, Wash. – Rev. Pat Conroy, S.J., chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives, will return to his alma mater Gonzaga University on Wednesday, Oct. 10 to discuss his work in a public lecture starting at 7 p.m. in the Cataldo Hall Globe Room. The free event will be streamed live via www.gonzaga.edu/streaming.
Father Conroy was nominated in May 2011 to be the 60th chaplain of the U.S. House of Representatives by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in consultation with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and was sworn in on May 25, 2011. In addition to opening proceedings with prayer, the House chaplain provides pastoral counseling to the House community, coordinates scheduling of guest chaplains, and arranges memorial services for the House and its staff. In the past, chaplains have performed marriage and funeral ceremonies for House members. He is the second Catholic priest and first Jesuit to hold the office of Chaplain to the House of Representatives.
Rev. Conroy was born in Everett, Wash., in 1950 and graduated from Claremont McKenna College in 1972. He attended the Gonzaga University School of Law for a year before entering the Society of Jesus in 1973. He earned a master’s degree in philosophy from Gonzaga, a law degree from St. Louis University, a master’s of divinity degree from the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley (California), and a master of sacred theology degree in missiology (the study of religious missions) from Regis College at the University of Toronto. He was ordained a priest in 1983 in Seattle.
After his ordination, Rev. Conroy served as a priest on various Indian reservations, directed student retreats at universities including Georgetown and Seattle University, and taught theology at Jesuit High School in Portland, Ore. While at Jesuit High School, Father Conroy served as superior for the Jesuit community for three years. He also served as the Society of Jesus Oregon Province’s provincial assistant for formation for three years.