Meet the Pastor
Meet the Pastor of St. Mary’s:
The Rev. Fr. James P. Conlon
B.A, LLB, Dip. Phil, BD, M. Div, S.T.L. (Candt)
Born in the Republic of Ireland, Fr. James completed his seminary studies in Ireland and in the USA. Having completed his philosophical studies at the National University of Ireland, Maynooth, Fr. James continued his theological studies at the Milltown Institute of Theology in Dublin, an institute run under the auspices of the Irish Jesuits. In 1999 Fr. James was accepted as a resident chaplain in Clinical Pastoral Education at the world famous Mayo Clinic, Rochester Minnesota. There he worked in the area of pastoral care of the sick, especially teenagers and the young. On joining the Diocese of Lansing, Fr. James attended Mundelein Seminary in Chicago, IL to undertake a master's in theology and to complete to his formation and preparation for ordination. As a seminarian Father worked as an advocate with the Archdiocesan Marriage Tribunal. He was ordained deacon in December 2001 and was appointed to St. Pius X Parish in Flint.
Prior to entering seminary, Fr. James qualified as an attorney in Ireland, having studied at University College Galway and at the Law Society of Ireland. He completed a BA in Law and History and a post graduate degree (LLB) in Law. As an attorney Father worked for one of Ireland's largest law firms in the area of commercial and banking law, he also spent time in Sydney, Australia with a major law firm.
Ordained priest on June 8, 2002 by Bishop Mengeling at the Cathedral in Lansing, Fr. James was appointed Associated Pastor at St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Ann Arbor. In 2004 he was appointed Director of Bethany House at the St. Francis Retreat Center, DeWitt with responsibility for youth spirituality and evangelization. As Director, he invited several youth groups from across the diocese to assist in promoting and hosting monthly retreats open to all in the diocese and elsewhere. Father also introduced several days of prayer for Catholic teachers, catechists, parents of seminarians as well as an annual St. Patrick's Day events. All of these continue to be part of life at Bethany House.
In June 2009, Fr. James was appointed pastor of St. Mary Parish, Westphalia. One of his great areas of interest is in evangelization; an interest that he has put at the heart of his ministry at St. Mary. In 2005 Father began studies for a licentiate in theology in the area of evangelization.