STATEN ISLAND, NY – Bishop Jeff Conway, the 17th pastor of St. Patrick’s RC Church, died suddenly in Florida while on vacation. He was 74 years old.
A resident of Staten Island since September 1977, when he was appointed assistant at St. Patrick’s Parish, Msgr. Conway ministered as a priest at the church in Richmond until 1987.
A two-year assignment as administrator of Sacred Heart Parish in Hell’s Kitchen, Manhattan would follow, before Msgr. Conway returned to the borough as pastor of St. Paul’s RC Church in New Brighton for four and a half years.
In 1993, he became pastor of Our Lady Star of the Sea RC Church in Huguenot, where he served for 21 years. While at the parish, he built a pre-K, sports complex, and a new church – the largest Catholic church on Staten Island.
With the recommendation of the late Cardinal John J. O’Connor, in 1995 he received the title of Monsignor.
Active in recovery work, Msgr. Conway helped those struggling with drug and alcohol abuse get sober. Over the years, he has led Bible book studies, recovery Bible studies, nights of quiet, and healing masses for those in recovery.
He was instrumental in starting a sober clubhouse at the Mission of the Immaculate Virgin at Mount Loretto in 1997 and has sponsored many in recovery.
He has also led 12-step retreats on Staten Island and nearby communities.
A recovering alcoholic, Bishop Conway has accomplished what those in recovery yearn for – to pass on the gift given to them, to reach out to those in the community struggling with addiction, and to remain a strong link in the chain of sobriety. .
Funeral arrangements are being finalized and will be posted as they become available on Advance/SILive.com.