Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Saturday 25 September |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Herman “the Cripple”

“Doctor-Deacon” Serves Mass — and Math

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 11/20/15

How could you not love a deacon in a bow tie?

From The Catholic Herald in Arlington, Virginia comes this profile of Deacon David Conroy:

Deacon Conroy, 73, has a doctorate in education from American University in Washington, and has been teaching math at NVCC for 48 years. He was ordained a deacon 38 years ago by Arlington Bishop Thomas J. Welsh. Deacon Conroy lives in Fredericksburg and works in Annandale. During the school week, he stays in Annandale, coming home to wife Patricia — whom he calls his bride — on Friday. He stays the weekend to perform his diaconate duties at St. Patrick Church in Fredericksburg and St. Timothy Church in Chantilly. Weddings and baptisms fill the time. On Monday, he’s back in Annandale teaching. It’s a tough schedule, but one he loves. He said he wears two hats — educator and deacon — and is able to blend both. Mathematics scares many people. Deacon Conroy makes it accessible and understandable. And he listens. He is the head of the NVCC campus ministry but now mostly does his ministering one-on-one. He wears a wooden cross around his neck, and that gets new students talking. “I explain it on the first day of class,” he said. He tells the students, a mixture of different religions and cultures, the differences between priest and deacon. Some of his students come in to talk about a math issue, but some move into more personal areas — relationship problems, stress and family issues. “They see it as counseling,” he said of the students who come to his office. Deacon Conroy never tires of talking about the good he sees in his students. In his acceptance speech for the CATE award, he told the story of a young woman in his math class who came to talk to him. She said that there was a young man in the class who had holes in his shoes. She wanted to buy him a new pair, but didn’t want him to know it was she who bought them. She asked Deacon Conroy to be the intermediary. He was, and the man never knew who the generous student was. “This is just an example of the kind of goodness and generosity I wave witnessed over the years which is a hallmark of so many of our students,” he told the audience.

Great stuff. Read it all. 

Photo: Dave Borowski / Catholic Herald

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cecilia Pigg
7 Ways the saints can help you sleep better at night
J-P Mauro
Chicago architect models Vatican City from 67,000 LEGO bricks
Philip Kosloski
Why J.R.R. Tolkien loved to attend daily Mass
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
Bret Thoman, OFS
Exclusive photos: Meet Padre Pio and the place he lived
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady saved Padre Pio from a violent demonic attack
Cerith Gardiner
9 Padre Pio quotes for when you’re feeling scared or uncertain
See More