Father Doc Conway: The Neighborhood is his Church

Father Richard “Doc” Conway, chose an assignment in the most dangerous section of Boston for the last five years, leaving a well-heeled town he detested. “Snobs,” Conway said, scowling. “I’m never going back to the suburbs.” St. Peter’s Parish in Dorchester is his most challenging assignment yet, and probably his last as a Catholic priest. He turned 75 in December but has no plans to retire.
Father “Doc” Conway of St. Peter’s Church, urges a gang member to come to church during one of his Friday night walks around the neighborhood. He told “King Rome” of the Latin King’s he’d like to get to know him, so he would know what to say at his funeral.

 

Father Doc Conway: The Neighborhood is his Church

Marlene Texeira and other parishoners from St. Peter’s Church perform the Stations of the Cross ritual on Good Friday in Dorchester. Each of the 14 stops were at the location of a stabbing or shooting in the neighborhood.

 

 

 

Father Doc Conway: The Neighborhood is his Church

Father “Doc” Conway of St. Peter’s Church, walks the neighborhood on a Friday night with Boston Police Deputy Superintendent Nora Baston. He believes you have to be visible in the neighborhood for a couple of years before people know who you are and will trust you.

 

Father Doc Conway: The Neighborhood is his Church

Miguelina Morillo talks on the phone inside her barber shop the morning after a young man was shot and killed while getting a haircut. Doc’s parish is one of the most violent in the city.

 

Father Doc Conway: The Neighborhood is his Church

Angela Fomby weeps as the murderers of her nefew are sentenced at Suffolk Superior Court. Everyone in his parish knows someone who’s been shot, according to Father Conway.

 

Father Doc Conway: The Neighborhood is his Church

Father “Doc” Conway says his weekly mass at the Capeverdean Adult Day Health Center. He worries that the people he preaches to aren’t the problem in the neighborhood.

 

Father Doc Conway: The Neighborhood is his Church

A crude message to alert would-be-intruders of the contents of a home in the neighborhood.

 

Father Doc Conway: The Neighborhood is his Church

Friends of Jaivon Blake release balloons during his 1 year anniversary memorial service at the scene of his murder on Geneva Ave.

 

Father Doc Conway: The Neighborhood is his Church

Father “Doc” Conway meets with the Boston Police and representatives from the DA’s office at the St. Peter’s Teen Center, to strategize a response to the recent surge in violence in the neighborhood.

 

Father Doc Conway: The Neighborhood is his Church

A weary Father “Doc” Conway at his kitchen table at the St. Ambrose Church Rectory where he lives. There have been several fatal shootings in his parish in the last week. “I’m all funeralled out”, he said.

 

Father Doc Conway: The Neighborhood is his Church

Father “Doc” Conway reads a prayer in front of St. Peter’s Church following a peace march in the neighborhood. “You just hope you’re the instrument that gets some kind of a message across, that will make a change,” he said.

Father Doc Conway: The Neighborhood is his Church

Father “Doc” Conway gets a surprise kiss from a resident of the neighborhood on one of his regular Friday night walks. “If kids are still going to listen to you I say fine, maybe I can help,” he said.