Bishop Conley was called back to Rome in 1996 to serve the Holy See as an official in the Vatican Congregation for Bishops. In Rome, he also served as chaplain to the University of Dallas Rome Campus from 1997 to 2003 and as adjunct instructor of theology for Christendom College Rome Campus from 2004 to 2006.
On Feb. 9, 2001, Pope John Paul II named him “chaplain to his holiness” with the title monsignor.
After 10 years of service at the Holy See, Bishop Conley was called back to Wichita Diocese and named pastor of Blessed Sacrament Parish, effective August 1, 2006, until the present.
On April 10, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI announced the appointment Reverend Monsignor James D. Conley as auxiliary bishop for the Archdiocese of Denver. Denver Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M Cap., ordained the Most Rev. James D. Conley as the new auxiliary bishop on May 30, 2008 the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, at Denver’s Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. Bishop Conley’s episcopal motto is “Heart speaks to heart.” As auxiliary bishop, he assists Archbishop Chaput in the pastoral care of the diocese.