The Catholic University of America

Father Pat Conroy, S.J., Chaplain to The United States House of Representatives


A Jesuit Vocation: A Call to the Frontiers of the Church with
Father Pat Conroy, 60th Chaplain the United States House of Representatives

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Father Pat Conroy, S.J., Chaplain to The United States House of Representatives, was the second speaker in this year’s Faith In Action series. Father Conroy addressed an audience of faculty and students, relating the circuitous journey that led him to law school and then the seminary. Originally intending to practice and seek office in the U.S. Senate, a priestly vocation took Father Conroy in a different direction, but never far from the halls of justice and never for very long. He spoke of how each leg of his vocation—be it teaching in Jesuit high schools and acting as a campus minister at Georgetown, or representing Native-Americans at one point and also immigrants to the U.S. at another—called for a moment of discernment as to what he should do with his life.

Father explained that a lawyer, like anyone else, needs to be free from the confusing array of options, influences, and motivations that can cloud one’s judgment. For an individual to know what he is not capable of can be as valuable as to know what he is, and taking time to examine such things is a major part of both personal and professional fulfillment. The call to serve members of Congress—whose lives are unenviable in many ways, considering all that is demanded of them—is the latest in Father Conroy’s own journey, and The Columbus School of Law was honored to have him explain how his two vocations have informed each other.