Father Timoney was born Howard Timoney on December 31, 1938 in Brooklyn, New York. He received the monastic name Conan at his profession in the Passionist Order. Father Conan fell asleep in the Lord on the evening of December 9, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland a few weeks before his 81stbirthday. Father Conan was baptized in the faith at Guardian Angel Catholic Church in Brooklyn on January 6, 1939.
Pursuing a vocation to the priesthood, he was ordained Lector and Subdeacon in 1967 at Our Lady of Sorrows Passionist Monastery in West Springfield, Massachusetts by Most Rev. Christopher J. Weldon, the Bishop of Springfield. He was ordained a deacon in 1967 at St. Michael’s Monastery, in Union City, New Jersey by Bishop Cuthbert M. O’Gara, C.P. Then he was ordained a priest on May 31, 1968 at St. Michael’s Monastery in Union City, New Jersey by Bishop Quentin Olwell, C.P.
Father Conan pursued education with zeal. He received his BA in philosophy from the Passionist Monastic Seminary in Jamaica, New York in 1964. He continued in higher education earning an MA in Theology from St. Michael’s Theologate in Union City, New Jersey in 1968, an MA in sociology from Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1972, an MPA in Public Administration from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts in 1973, a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies in Educational Administration from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts in 1977, a Doctor of Ministry in Church Administration from Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Centre, Massachusetts in 1977, an MA in Diplomacy and International Law from Tufts University in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, and a Certificate of Chinese Studies from the National Minorities Institute in Peking, China (as it was called at the time). He became a Certified Social Worker in Massachusetts in 1980.
Father Conan was always a whirlwind of activity in service to others. As a Passionist he became director of their retreat center. In the early 1980’s he began to work as a Veteran’s Administration chaplain in the Baltimore area, and decided that a parochial work provided more geographic stability for his service. On September 1, 1983, he was appointed Administrator of Patronage of the Mother of God Church in Arbutus, Maryland, having learned to celebrate the Divine Liturgy in the Byzantine Rite. He was released by the Passionist General for secular priesthood on December 3, 1985. Subsequently, he was ascribed to the Ruthenian Byzantine Rite by the Roman authorities on January 27, 1986 and then incardinated in the Eparchy of Passaic and appointed Pastor of Patronage Church on April 4, 1986. He served there as beloved pastor for over 35 years and established Byzantine missions in Abington and Hagerstown, MD as well.
Father Conan’s work with the military and veterans expanded in the 1980’s. He was appointed a Military Chaplain in the United States Army Reserves in September of 1984. He assisted the Catholic Bishops committee on Veterans Administration chaplains to formulate standards for Catholic chaplains, and these standards were promulgated in 1987 with recognition for Father Conan.
Father Conan was the Chaplain at the Lock Raven Veterans Administration Medical Center for 20 years, and in addition he was State Chaplain for the Maryland State Department of Catholic War Veterans for 15 years.
He was an active member of many professional societies including American Public Administration Society, Society for the Scientific Study of Religion, American Educational Research Association, American Academy of Political Science, Association for the Sociology of Religion, Institute of Religious Education and Pastoral Ministry of Boston College, and Retreats International of Notre Dame University for which he served on the Executive Board.
When Bishop Pataki instituted the system of Syncellus and Protopresbyter for the Eparchy of Passaic, Father Conan was appointed Protopresbyter for the Middle States of the Eparchy of Passaic in 1996 and remained in that office until the present. With the office of Protopresbyter, he received the title “Very Reverend”. As Protopresbyter, he was responsible to audit the sacramental records and finances of all the parishes in his region and took responsibility for the eparchial farm in southwest Virginia. He fulfilled all his administrative responsibilities with diligence, charity, and a sense of humor.
Father Conan hoped to retire in the Myrtle Beach area of South Carolina. After acquiring a home there, he began a Mission for the Byzantine Catholics in the area, and the Mission eventually purchased a property including a church and rectory. The Myrtle Beach Mission has been a popular dacha for our married clergy and their families in recent years, and Father Conan allowed them to use his personal home.
Father Conan cast a long shadow in his ministry, touching the lives of countless people over decades up and down the east coast. He will be remembered as the consummate shepherd, laying down his life for his flock, and not running when the wolf or the lion threatened his sheep.
Father Conan was predeceased by his mother and father, Patrick and Margaret Gilhooley, his sister, Margaret (Francis) Albert, and his brothers, the Reverend Monsignor John P. Gilhooley, and Patrick Mackey. He is survived by his sister-in-law, Patricia Mackey, and Frank (Kathie) Albert as well as many grandnieces and grandnephews, and their spouses and children.
The family would like to thank the Patronage Community and the many home health aides for their help and support through Father’s illness.
Family and friends may gather for a public visitation at Patronage of the Mother of God Byzantine Church on Monday, December 16th from 2:30-6:30 PM where the Office of Burial for a priest will be prayed at 6:30 PM. The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will take place at Patronage of the Mother of God Byzantine Church on Tuesday, December 17th at 10:30 AM.
Family and friends may also gather at St. Andrew the Apostle Byzantine Church for a public visitation on Saturday, December 21st from 10-11 AM where the service will take place at 11 AM. Interment will immediately follow at St. Charles Cemetery, 2015 Wellwood Ave, Farmingdale, NY 11735.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Little Sisters of the Poor, 601 Maiden Choice Lane, Catonsville, MD 21228.
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