Rev. Robert P. Conlin – Assignment History

Summary of Case: Robert P. Conlin was ordained for the Buffalo diocese in 1956. He spent his first year after ordination as the sole priest at a small East Otto parish, assigned there through the diocese's Missionary Apostolate program. He went on to assist in Batavia, Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Albion parishes until 1977, when he was named pastor of St. Mary's in Pavilion. Conlin remained at St. Mary's until his death at age 66 in 1997.

In March 2018 a man came forward publicly to allege that Conlin sexually abused him in 1980, when he was a 15-year-old parishioner and Conlin was pastor of St. Mary's in Pavilion. He said he was from a single-mother home, and that Conlin groomed him as if he were "his son." He said he told his mother about the abuse when she found him crying in his bed.

: June 17, 1931
: 1956
Died: December 9, 1997


Start Stop Assignments Town/Allegations State Position Notes


Diocese of Buffalo

Bishop was Joseph Aloysius Burke (1952-1962).

1958 St. Isidore's East Otto NY


Conlin was assigned to St. Isidore's via the Buffalo Missionary Apostolate, which provided small, rural parishes with newly ordained priests.

1958 1959 St. Anthony's Batavia NY 2/3 Very Rev. Msgr. William C. Kirby, Ph.D., Revs Robert P. Conlin, Peter D. Joseph. St. Anthony's had a school with 255 students.
1959 1961 The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Buffalo NY 3/4 Rev. Msgr. James E. Scanlon, S.T.L. Revs. Aloysius G. Kuntz, Ronert P. Conlin, Raymond J. Maher.  Nativity of the Blessed Virgin had a school with 726-706 students.


Burke was succeeded as Buffalo bishop by James Aloysius McNulty (1963-1972).

1963 Our Lady of Loretto Buffalo NY 3/3 Revs. Anthony P. Biferella, Arthur J. DeLuca, Robert P. Conlin. Our Lady of Loretto had a school with 272-267 students.
1963 1966 St. Joseph's Niagara Falls NY

2/4, 2/3

1963-1964: Rev. Msgr. Paschal J. Tronolona, P.A., V.F., Revs. Robert P. Conlin, Richard Amico, Louis Mako.

1964-1965: Revs. Carl J. Fenice, Robert Conlin, John Sabino. 

1965-1966: Revs. Carl J. Fenice, Robert Conlin, Michael E. DelVecchio.

St. Joseph's had a grade school with 359-373 students, and a high school with 16 students.
1966 1971 Our Lady of Loretto Buffalo NY


Pastor was Rev. Anthony P. Biferella 1966-1969, followed by Rev. Francis P. Sorci 1969-1971.

Our Lady of Loretto had a school with 221 students.


Edward Dennis Head replaced McNulty as Buffalo bishop (1973-1995).

1977 St. Joseph's Albion NY

2/2, 2/3, 2/4

Pastor was Rev. Msgr. David P. Herlihy. They were joined 1972-1977 by Rev. Bryan O'Reilly, in residence, noted to be "retired Tr." and from Ireland. Third priest 1974-1977 was Paul F. Stengel.

St. Joseph's had a school with 158-55 students.
1977 1997 St. Mary's


On March 23, 2018 a man stated publicly that Conlin sexually abused him at St. Mary's in 1980, when the man was a 15-year-old boy. He said he was later crying in his bed, and his mother, who was raising him alone, asked what was wrong. He said he told his mother that Conlin "was touching me everywhere, and he wouldn't stop." The man said that Conlin had groomed him, like he was "his son."

NY 1/1 Conlin died December 9, 1997. (Conlin's obituary states that he was ordained in 1958, but the Directories show his ordination year as 1956.)

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Source: Official Catholic Directory (Kenedy & Sons, 1969-2002).

Rev. Robert P. Conlin Obituary,, accessed March 26, 2018
 Diocese of Buffalo Updated List, March 22, 2018 
 New Accuser Comes Forward, As Malone Apologizes for Priest Sex Abuse Cases, by Dave Debo, WBEN, March 23, 2018
Another victim claims sexual abuse by a Catholic Priest, by Eileen Buckley, WBFO (NPR), March 23, 2018

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Conlin's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with the allegations against him, as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegations we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on April 17, 2018.


Any original material on these pages is copyright © 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.