Conrad Schomske, OFM
1924 – 1986
Fr. Conrad Schomske, OFM, was born in Rochester, N.Y., on Nov. 12, 1924. He graduated from St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., and entered the Province’s novitiate in 1944 at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J.
In 1945, he professed temporary vows. Fr. Conrad made his profession of solemn vows in 1948, and was ordained a priest in 1950 in Washington, D.C.
His first assignment took him to St. Stephen’s Friary in Croghan, N.Y., where he taught sociology. In 1953, Fr. Conrad volunteered for the Japanese mission. He spent three years mastering the Japanese language and eventually published 15 pamphlets and five books in Japanese during his 16 years in the orient.
He was Pastor in Shibukawa and Maebashi and was a serious and dedicated missionary. In 1969, Fr. Conrad returned to the United States and became a core member of the retiro at Christ House in Lafayette. N.J. In 1975, he became the guardian of the House of Prayer, part of the Assumption Province, in Cedar Lake, Ind.
In 1978, Fr. Conrad resigned as guardian and returned to Japan to found a retiro and continue his preaching ministry. He joined the Japanese Province and, in 1982, he went to Africa with two Japanese friars as members of the newly established African vicariate. In 1983, he arrived in Nairobi, Kenya, and established a ministry of presence among the poor of Nakuru.
Fr. Conrad was a popular preacher of sister’s retreats during his short time in Africa.
He died Aug. 1, 1986, in the Aga Khan Hospital, Nairobi, and he is buried in the friars’ plot in lower Subukia. He was 61 years old, a professed friar for almost 41 year, and a priest for 35 years.