Fr. Pierre as a young friar.
On January 23, Fr. Pierre Hyacinth Conway, O.P., a Dominican friar of the Province of St. Joseph, passed away peacefully at the Dominican House of Studies, Washington, DC, at 90 years of age. Fr. Conway was a philosopher, a Thomist, scholar, preacher, mentor, confessor, friend of the poor, and Dominican priest for 65 years. He was truly a man of many accomplishments and varied experiences. I'll never forget my surprise upon encountering Fr. Pierre in the pages of Dorothy Day's On Pilgrimage (her 1948 diaries)! The Washington Post obituary (and the guestbook tributes) give you an idea of his very full and fruitful life.
Our senior sisters remember Fr. Pierre's philosophy lectures, given in his trademark very dry teaching style ("Dear sisters, I may be dry but I am teaching you the truth!"). Our younger sisters got to know Father from our two-week summer studies at DHS. As guestmaster at the House, he was ever our brother, and graciousness itself, making sure to greet us personally and ask about the sisters back home. We always received cards from him at Christmas and Easter, and even during the year, he would write brief notes to thank us for our newsletters, commenting on the news contained therein, always signing off with "Love, Pierre." He was always so thankful for our prayers and witness.
Our student brothers' wonderful website has just posted a biography of Fr. Conway, written by the Very Rev. Joseph Barranger, O.P., prior of the Dominican House of Studies. We read it tonight in the refectory and the sister reader (and her listeners) were moved to tears at this eloquent account of his last days. We invite our readers to read the biography (the link with Father's photo should be near the top) and join us in giving thanks and praise for this faithful son of St. Dominic. The Immaculate Conception Chapter (Washington, DC) has more information and tributes at this webpage.