Meet Our Pastor

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Meet the Pastor of
St. Francis of Assisi, Ann Arbor:
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. 
Prior to entering seminary, Fr. James qualified as an attorney in Ireland, having studied at the National University of Ireland, Galway and at the Law Society of Ireland. He completed a BA in Law and History and a post graduate degree in Law. As an attorney Fr. James 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. 
In 1999 Fr. James was accepted as a chaplain resident at the world famous Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota where he completed four units of clinical pastoral education working and studying in the area of pastoral care of the sick, especially teens and youth. On joining the Diocese of Lansing, Fr. James attended Mundelein Seminary in Chicago where he undertook a Masters in Theology and completed his preparation for ordination. As a seminarian Fr. James spent time in parishes here in the USA, Australia and Poland. He also worked as an advocate with the Archdiocesan Marriage Tribunal. He was ordained deacon in December 2001.
Ordained priest on June 8, 2002 by Bishop Carl Mengeling at the Cathedral in Lansing, Fr. James was appointed Associate 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. In June 2009, Fr. James was appointed pastor of St. Mary Parish, Westphalia. As pastor he oversaw the celebration of its 175th anniversary as a parish and undertook a radical review of the spiritual and sacramental life of the parish, its school and religious education programs that included a greater emphasis on evangelization and adult spiritual formation.  In addition he completed a school chapel and expanded school enrollment by adding a much needed Catholic kindergarten. In 2005 Fr. James began studies for a licentiate in theology in the area of evangelization. In 2012 Fr. James was appointed Promoter of Justice for the Diocese of Lansing. 
As a seminarian and now as a priest, Fr. James takes a great interest in the ongoing work of Catholic Relief Services, having travelled to India, Rwanda and Nicaragua to witness at first hand its emergency and charitable work. As a CRS global fellow Fr. James gives several weekends each year to promote the work of CRS in parishes across the US.
In February, 2013 Fr. James was appointed sixth pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish which he took over in August that year. He was installed as pastor by Bishop Boyea on October 5, 2013.