1900 – 1987 (July 10)
Joseph Thomas Conroy was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Philip Conroy and Susan McPherson on February 11, 1900. He was baptized at Our Lady of Victory Church in Philadelphia, and attended West Catholic High School in Philadelphia. At the age of nineteen, he enrolled as a postulant at Villanova Preparatory Seminary on the campus of Villanova College, from which he graduated in 1921. In June of that year he began his novitiate and professed simple vows on June 25, 1922. Three years later, on June 26, 1925, he professed solemn vows. That same year he graduated from Villanova College with a B.A. degree in philosophy and began studies in theology. On June 2, 1928, he was ordained to the priesthood by Dennis Cardinal Dougherty in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, Philadelphia. In September, 1928, he began taking courses in education at the Catholic University, Washington, D.C. With the completion of his thesis, he was granted an M.A. in Education from Villanova in 1933.
Father Conroy was appointed parochial assistant at Saint Laurence O'Toole parish in Lawrence, Massachusetts, beginning a long association with that city. In 1943, he spent a year as assistant at Saint Joseph's Church in Greenwich, New York, but returned to Lawrence in 1944 as assistant pastor at Saint Mary's and later, at Saint Augustine, Tower Hill. In 1954, Father Conroy was appointed pastor and prior of Our Lady of Angels in Jacksonville, Florida, In 1959, he was named prior of the Augustinian Community at El Cristo Church in Havana, Cuba, where he remained until 1961, when he was assigned as assistant pastor at Saint Nicholas of Tolentine, Atlantic City, New Jersey.
In 1962, Father Conroy returned to Lawrence, as assistant pastor at Saint Mary until 1964, when he was transferred to Saint Augustine. In 1966, he volunteered to assist in the Vice Province of California. He remained there until 1969, when due to failing health, he was transferred to the monastery at Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts.
Although semi-retired, Father Conroy continued to perform parochial work. It was at this period that he became active in the Blue Army of Mary and was designated by Humberto Cardinal Medeiros as its promoter in the greater Lawrence area. In 1982, Father Conroy retired to Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery, Villanova, where on July 10, 1987 he died.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated for Father Conroy at the Church of Saint Thomas of Villanova on the University campus. He is buried in the Augustinian plot at Calvary Cemetery, West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.