Juan Conway McNabb

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Most Reverend
Juan C. McNabb, OSA, DD
Bishop of Chulucanas
Church Roman Catholic Church
See Chulucanas
In office December 12, 1988—October 28, 2000
Successor Daniel Thomas Turley Murphy
Ordination May 24, 1952
Consecration June 17, 1967
Personal details
Born (1925-12-11)December 11, 1925
Beloit, Wisconsin
Previous post Prelate of Chulucanas (1964-1988)

Juan Conway McNabb (born December 11, 1925) is an American born bishop in the Catholic Church and served as the first bishop of the Diocese of Chulucanas in the Piura Region of Peru from 1988-2000.


John McNabb was born in Beloit, Wisconsin and professed religious vows in the Order of St. Augustine. He was ordained a Catholic priest on May 24, 1952. He taught in high schools sponsored by the Augustinian Community in Chicago, Illinois and St. Louis, Missouri.

On March 4, 1964 Father McNabb was named the first ordinary of the Prelature of Chulucanas by Pope Blessed John XXIII.[1] He was able to attend the third and fourth sessions of the Second Vatican Council as a voting member.[2]

The prelature was 14,000 square miles (36,000 km2) and its area was about two thirds mountains and one-third desert. When McNabb came to the area there were no telephones, roads or electricity. There were 140,000 people in the territory and almost all of them were Catholic. There were only a few diocesan priests and six Franciscan priests from Sicily. He was not fluent in Spanish and so he utilized the services of an interpreter until he became fluent.[3]

On April 8, 1967, Pope Paul VI named McNabb Titular Bishop of Saia Maior, and he was ordained a bishop on June 17, 1967. Archbishop John Patrick Cody of Chicago was the ordaining prelate. Bishop Petrus Canisius Jean van Lierde, OSA of the Roman Curia and Archbishop Erasmo Hinojosa Hurtado of Piura were the principal co-consecrators. On December 12, 1988 Pope John Paul II raised the prelature to a diocese and Bishop McNabb became its first bishop.[1]

Because so many of the people in the diocese lived a long way from parish churches or chapels, and there were so few priests to minister to them, a pastoral plan was developed to establish small Christian communities and train lay people as catechists. Bishop McNabb stated, “When I left (Chulucanas), there was only one priest for every 14,000 people, but you had 23,000 of the laity collaborating on parish ministry in a common program. So, there was someone in ministry for every 23 people." [3] The plan also succeeded in fostering the necessary vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

There was a certaiin amount of danger in the Chulucanas diocese. A corrupt group of people had control of a significant religious festival in the town of Ayabaca. When Bishop McNabb took the control of the festival from them they forced the pastor into hiding and destroyed his property. Bishop McNabb was required to have a police escort whenever he visited the parish. Marxist guerillas also destroyed his residence.[3]

Bishop McNabb had coronary artery bypass surgery in 1990, and in 1996 the Rev. Daniel Thomas Turley Murphy, OSA was named coadjutor bishop of the diocese. Pope John Paul II accepted Bishop McNabb’s resignation on October 28, 2000,[1] and he returned to the United States. After he left Chulucanas he ministered among Latinos in Illinois, and then became pastor of St. Clare of Montefalco parish in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan in 2002.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Bishop Juan Conway McNabb, O.S.A.". www.catholic-hierarchy.org. Retrieved 2010-05-18. [self-published source]
  2. ^ "Only eight U.S. bishops still alive who attended Vatican II". www.catholicnews.com. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  3. ^ a b c Delaney, Robert. "Bp. McNabb still centers on strong laity". www.aodonline.org. Retrieved 2010-05-18. [dead link]

Episcopal lineage
Consecrated by: John Patrick Cody
Consecrator of
Bishop Date of consecration
Daniel Thomas Turley Murphy August 17, 1996