Father John Conway was born in Manhattan, New York City, on May 13, 1930, to Edmund and Mary Gaine Conway. His early education was at St. Bernard's High School and St. Joseph's Juniorate. He entered the Christian Brothers in 1948 and had graduate education at Catholic University and Manhattan College. As a Christian Brother, he taught High School from 1953 until 1969. He entered Maryknoll at the Hingham Novitiate in September 1970. Having already completed extensive theological studies as a Christian Brother, he served a three-year probation period consisting of a year at the Hingham novitiate and two years in an Overseas Training Program in Tanzania, where he had previously worked as a Christian Brother for six years. He was ordained a Maryknoll priest at Maryknoll, New York, on May 19, 1973.
In July 1973, Father Conway took up his mission work in the Maryknoll Africa Region. In 1975, he was assigned to the Maryknoll Society team for work with the National Pastoral and Catechetical Institute in Juba, Sudan. In March 1978, he was assigned to the Samoa Mission Unit where he served as Rector and teacher at Moamoa Theological College, a diocesan formation institute for seminarians, sisters and catechists in Western Samoa.
Having completed his term in Western Samoa, Father Conway was assigned to the Kenya Region in September, 1982. He did pastoral work in the Diocese of Mombasa and in October 1985 accepted a teaching post in the Apostles of Jesus' seminary, teaching ethics to the philosophy students and moral theology to the Major Seminarians.
In 1986, Father Conway was elected Regional Superior of the Maryknoll Kenya Region and was appointed to that position by the Superior General, effective October 1, for a three-year term; he was reelected in 1989 for a second three-year term. Father Conway was a member of the Maryknoll Center for Mission Studies Policy Board for Formation and Education during the late 1980s and early 1990s, until the Board was abolished.
Father Conway was assigned to the United States Region in October 1994 and named Co-Director of the Maryknoll Mission Institute at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in New York, a position he held until 1999. Since the beginning of 2000, John has returned to Nairobi, Kenya, and to his teaching position at the Apostles of Jesus Seminary.