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Priest lived vocation with dedication, humility

| Saturday, March 30, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The Rev. Richard L. Conboy, 78, of Pittsburgh, died Monday, March 25, 2013.

As part of his chaplaincy in the Felician Sisters Motherhouse in Coraopolis, the Rev. Richard L. Conboy ministered to the sick and dying nuns with the utmost care and compassion.

“He brought the gentleness and prayerfulness of Christ to each of our sisters who were making that final journey to the Lord,” said Sister Thaddeus Markelewicz.

The Rev. Richard L. Conboy of Pittsburgh died on Monday, March 25, 2013, in a friend's home in Churchill after an extended illness. He was 78.

Even as he struggled with his health in the last months of his life, Rev. Conboy ministered to visitors, said Markelewicz, the executive director of McGuire Memorial Home in Daugherty, Beaver County.

“He never lost his sense of humor or his ability to still reach out to people who would come and see him,” said Markelewicz.

Rev. Conboy was ordained on March 25, 1960, in St. Paul's Cathedral in Oakland. He served in several parishes before being named assistant superintendent of schools for the Pittsburgh diocese in 1970, and then the diocese's director of research and planning two years later.

From 1972 to 1996, he served as chaplain in DePaul School for Hearing and Speech in Shadyside. From 1981 to 1985, he was executive assistant to the Duquesne University president. He was the Catholic chaplain in Kane Regional Center in Scott for 18 years until 2010, and served as the Felician chaplain from 1996 to 2012.

When Rev. Conboy marked 50 years in the priesthood in 2010, he said he didn't expect another 50 years, according to remarks prepared by Sister Mary Cabrini Procopio.

“That's not because the world needs me, Lord knows. The opposite is true. I need my world, the world that includes all of you, as we make our way, however haltingly, to that newer world where ‘50s' don't matter and time does not exist,” he said.

He is survived by a sister, Kathleen Filson of Savannah, Ga.

Viewing will be from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday in the Felician Sisters Convent, 1500 Woodcrest Ave., Coraopolis. A wake service will be held at 7 p.m. There will be additional viewing in the convent chapel from 9 a.m. Monday until a 10 a.m. Mass of Christian Burial celebrated by Pittsburgh Bishop David A. Zubik. Arrangements are being handled by Anthony J. Sanvito Inc. Funeral Home in Coraopolis.

Bill Vidonic is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5621 or bvidonic@tribweb.com.

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