Remembering a life dedicated to education faith and service

Sr. Conroy was a fervent member of the Sacred Heart community across the globe. Courtesy of rscj.org

Sr. Conroy was a fervent member of the Sacred Heart community across the globe. Courtesy of rscj.org

Sister Ann Marie Conroy, Religious of the Sacred Heart, was a beloved teacher, mentor, and friend at Convent of the Sacred Heart. This dedicated member of the community passed away in her retirement home in Atherton, California August 5.
“I remember seeing Sr. Conroy in the hallways many years ago. She always had a smile on her face and said ‘hi’ to everyone as she walked by. You could tell that she really loved the school and the community,” senior Helen Rail said.
Sr. Conroy was born July 9, 1925 in Belle Harbor, New York to Mr. Gardiner Conroy and Mrs. Marie McGoldrick Conroy. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history and a minor in English in 1947. Her classmates described her as “always peaceful and full of joy,” according to rscj.org

Sr. Conroy was a fervent member of the Sacred Heart community across the globe. Courtesy of rscj.org
Sr. Conroy was a fervent member of the Sacred Heart community across the globe. Courtesy of rscj.org

At the age of 23, Sr. Conroy entered the Society of the Sacred Heart. Sr. Conroy was also a teacher at Sacred Heart in Greenwich from 1962 to 1965. Afterward, she managed the Business Office, worked as the Assistant Treasurer, and steered the Financial Aid Office as the Director of Financial aid from 1965 to 1967.
During her time at Sacred Heart, she served as Secretary to the Board of Trustees and coached field hockey teams. In addition, Sr. Conroy was a mentor to faculty members, students, parents, and alumnae. 
“When you went to her with a problem, she wouldn’t solve the problem for you, she would help you figure out the best way to solve it for yourself,” Upper School Theology teacher and Chair of the Theology Department, Mrs. Phyllis Pregiato.
Sr. Conroy was equally dedicated to the mission of the Religious of the Sacred Heart. She served in the Congo as a consultant for long-range planning from 1982 to 1984. She also helped to re-write the Society Constitutions and held workshops on the Constitutions in the Philippines, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea.
According to rscj.org, “[Sr. Conroy] was known for her exemplary leadership in Sacred Heart Schools.” In 1984, she became the Director of Schools at Broadway in San Francisco. According to sacredsf.org, she served as the Director of Schools from 1984 to 1994. 
Sr. Conroy became Assistant Headmistress and interim Upper School Director of Sacred Heart Greenwich in 1994. She then served as a chair of the Theology Department. 
“Sr. Ann Conroy was extremely dedicated to maintaining the visions of Saint Madeleine Sophie Barat and Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne. You could tell she really loved her life as a Religious of the Sacred Heart,” Mrs. Pregiato said. 
Pictured are Mrs. Lori Wilson (left), former Superior General Sr. Pratt (middle), and Sr. Conroy, rscj (right). Courtesy of cshgreenwich.org
Pictured are Mrs. Lori Wilson (left), former Superior General Sr. Clare Pratt (middle), and Sr. Ann Conroy (right). Courtesy of cshgreenwich.org

Sr. Conroy served on the Board of Trustees at Manhattanville College, Kenwood in New York, Sacred Heart Schools in Menlo Park and San Francisco, California, and the Academy of the Sacred Heart in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. She also served on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Network of Sacred Heart schools, Executive Committee at the Multicultural Alliance of the Bay Area Independent Schools, and Board of Directors for Project Discover.
Sr. Conroy completed her mission work in England, Mexico, Kenya, Egypt, and Latin America while serving as Provincial of the New York Province from 1975 to 1982.
Although she underwent back and heart surgeries, Sr. Conroy relied on “her strength and discipline and sense of duty,” according to rscj.org.
As her health declined, Sr. Conroy resigned from Sacred Heart Greenwich, but continued to regularly volunteer as a tutor at the Bedford Hills Correctional Facility for Women.  She believed that, “[e]ducation can and should be transformative [and] lives can be turned around,” according to rscj.org.
After Sr. Conroy suffered a serious stroke, she moved to the Oakwood Retirement Center for the Religious of the Sacred Heart in Atherton, California. According to rscj.org, Sr. Conroy was known for her loving disposition at Oakwood and enjoyed her days at the center. 
“I don’t know if there’s anyone else like her. She was really a unique and remarkable lady who truly was an inspiration to anyone who knew her,” Mrs. Pregiato said.
Members of the Sacred Heart Greenwich community celebrated Sr. Conroy’s life at a memorial mass held in the chapel Sunday, October 2. Former Head of School Sr. Joan Magnetti read a letter from Ms. Vicki Black, Sr. Conroy’s niece, to the gathering. Colleagues and former students gathered to recall the impact that Sr. Conroy had on their lives.
“Sr. Conroy was the best of Sacred Heart. I used to pray for Sr. Conroy, but now I pray to her. She was incredibly wise, strong, level-headed, and she always made her opinions known in a kind way. I am forever grateful to have had the opportunity to know her. She was a great friend and mentor to me,” Lower and Middle School Theology Chair Mrs. Maureen Crowley said.
– Juliette Guice, Managing Editor and Video Content Editor