Father Ignatius Conroy, C.P., Holy Cross Province (1880-1957)

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Born Henry Conroy on April 22, 1880 in Grafton, Missouri, he was the son of Simon Conroy and Catherine Gahagan. His family called him Harry. In 1893 Father Raymond O’Keefe, C.P. conducted a Passionist mission in Grafton. This inspired the young man to go the Passionist monastery in Normandy, Missouri where he served as door boy so as to get better acquainted with the Passionists. In 1894 he then went to Dunkirk, New York to begin his studies for the priesthood. Studies were difficult. Director, Father Dominic Brennan contemplated sending him home but after consultation with Father Mark Moeslein, C.P. the decision was made for him to stay. He began his novitiate in 1896 in Pittsburgh under Father George Basel. He was professed on January 27, 1897 and received the name Ignatius. His seven years of study brought him to Louisville, Kentucky, Cincinnati, Ohio and West Hoboken, New Jersey. He was ordained there on December 17, 1904. After sacred eloquence under the direction of lay instructor Dr. Callahan, Father Conroy developed his preaching skills.

When the provinces divided in 1906 Father Conroy went west. Between 1907 and 1950 he preached over six hundred missions and retreats. His last years were spent at the Passionist community in Des Moines, Iowa where he was a popular and compassionate confessor. In September 1954 he celebrated his golden jubilee as a priest in Des Moines in the presence of Bishops Cuthbert O’Gara, C.P. and Edward C. Daly of Des Moines, the provincials of both provinces and other priests and friends. In 1955 he suffered from heart problems. He died on November 3, 1957.