Rev. Shawn Conoboy, Ph.D., Appointed to Vatican Position


April 11, 2023

CONTACT: Justin Huyck, Director of Communications, (330) 744-8451, ext. 320,

The Most Reverend David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, proudly announces that he has released Rev. Shawn Conoboy, Ph.D., for an assignment at the Vatican on the staff of the Vatican’s Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development. Father Conoboy remains a priest of the Diocese of Youngstown and has been released for this special assignment effective May 1, 2023, with his appointment at the Vatican beginning on June 1, 2023.

The Dicastery helps to fulfill the mission of Jesus Christ that “all may have life to the full” (Jn 10:10), through attending to the material needs of the poor and vulnerable.  Attention is given to questions of economy, health, migration, ecology, and peace.  Father Conoboy will work for the section of the Dicastery which interacts with local Bishops’ Conferences around the world to help identify the material needs of the local church and to support action plans to resolve the various issues.

Currently, Father Conoboy serves as pastor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Aurora, St. Joseph Parish in Mantua, and St. Ambrose Parish in Garrettsville. Father Frantisek Katrinak will succeed Father Conoboy as pastor of these parishes, and also St. Joan of Arc Parish in Streetsboro, on May 1. Father Conoboy also currently serves as Director of Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs for the Diocese of Youngstown, as an adjunct professor at Walsh University, and as chair of the diocese’s presbyteral council.

In December 2021, Father Conoboy received a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology from Duquesne University. He previously earned an STB (Sacred Theology Bachelors, equivalent to a Master of Divinity) from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome, and a specialized STL (Sacred Theology Licentiate) in Spiritual Theology from the Teresianum, Pontifical Institute for Spirituality.

Bishop Bonnar comments, “Father Conoboy’s appointment is a great honor, not only for him, but for the Diocese of Youngstown. Father Conoboy has so many gifts as a priest and theologian, and I am excited that he will now be using those gifts in his work with the Holy Father and the dicastery’s staff, led by Cardinal Michael Czerny, Sister Alessandra Smerilli, and Father Fabio Baggio. While we will miss him during his time of service to the Vatican, I give thanks that the Holy Spirit has opened up this new way for Father Conoboy to use his gifts for the good of the universal Church. Upon the completion of his duties, we will welcome him back with open arms.”

Father Conoboy comments, “Pastoral ministry to the most vulnerable has been a consistent focus throughout my life and ministry.  My sharing in the priesthood of Jesus Christ has brought me to many wonderful assignments and experiences.  I look forward to serving God’s People and Christ’s Church in this new way at the Dicastery.”

Father Conoboy was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Youngstown in 2006. In addition to his current assignments, he served previously at St. Charles Parish in Boardman (as Parochial Vicar), Christ the Good Shepherd Parish in Campbell (as Parochial Vicar, and then as Pastor), Holy Family Parish in Brewster and Navarre (as sacramental minister), and at St. Mary and St. Joseph Parish in Newton Falls (as administrator). He has also served the sacramental needs of the Hartville Migrant Ministry, including celebrating Mass in Spanish. His ecumenical work has included membership in the Youngstown-Warren Chapter of the Society of St. John Chrysostom, an ecumenical association of clergy and lay people organized for the purpose of promoting an understanding of Eastern Christianity, and on the local Lutheran-Catholic Covenant Commission. 

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