Rev. Francis X. Lawlor, O.S.A. (1917 - 2013)
Rev. Francis X. Lawlor, O.S.A. died November 5, 2013 following a long gradual decline in health. He was 95.
Francis Xavier Lawlor was born November 21, 1917 in Bronx, New York to Martin T. And Margaret Lawlor. He was Baptized December 25, 1917 at St. Luke Church, Bronx. He received the Sacrament of Confirmation at St. Rita Church, Port Richmond, New York.
He received his elementary education at St. Rita School, Port Richmond. His secondary education was received at Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, which granted him a diploma in 1935.
He was received into the Augustinian Novitiate September 9, 1937. He professed simple (temporary) vows in the Order of St. Augustine September 10, 1938 and solemn (permanent) vows September 10, 1941.
He earned a B. A. In Philosophy from Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, in 1942. He then pursued theological studies at Augustinian College, Washington, D. C. He was ordained a Priest May 22, 1942.
Father Lawlor taught at St. Rita High School, Chicago, Illinois, from 1946 to 1968. From 1950 to 1968 he also served as citywide Moderator of Chicago Inter-Student Catholic Action (C.I.S.C.A.), an organization of students from the Catholic high schools in the Archdiocese of Chicago.
During these years he was also active with the Christian Family Movement, the Knights of Columbus and several block clubs in the vicinity of St. Mary of Mount Carmel Church, Chicago. He was actively involved with Citizens for Decent Literature. He was a leader in the fight against pornography.
After a brief assignment at Cascia Hall, Tulsa, Oklahoma, Father Lawlor was on a leave of absence from the Order. He was a delegate to the 1968 Illinois State Constitutional Convention, where he was a member of the Bill of Rights Committee. He served from 1971 to 1975 as a Chicago Alderman, representing the 15th Ward in the City Council.
In 1975 Father Lawlor returned to community life in the Order. He was assigned to St. Mary Parish, Rockford, Illinois. He was Director of the Pro-Life Committee of the Diocese of Rockford from 1976 to 1984. In 1984 he became director of Moral Decency in Media in Rockford.
Father Lawlor retired from that position in 1992. He maintained his residence at St. Mary Parish, Rockford, and continued his involvement in pro-life and anti-pornography activities as a volunteer.
In 1994 he relocated to Immaculate Conception/St. Henry Parish, St. Louis, Missouri, where he provided sacramental ministry as his age and health permitted. When the Archdiocese of St. Louis closed Immaculate Conception/St. Henry Parish in 2005, Father Lawlor moved to Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields, Illinois. In 2010 he was assigned to the newly formed Bl. Stephen Bellesini Friary, located at Franciscan Village, a senior housing and health care community in Lemont, Illinois.
Father Lawlor is remembered as an intense man, totally committed to any campaign to which he dedicated his time and energy to bring truth, justice, life or purity into a world led astray by ill-formed consciences.
Visitation and the Funeral Mass will take place at St. Rita of Cascia High School Shrine Chapel, 7740 S. Western Ave., Chicago, IL 60620-2867.
Visitation: 8 a.m - 10 a.m. Saturday, November 9, 2013
Funeral Mass: 10 a.m. Saturday, November 9, 2013.
Burial: Augustinian Plot, Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, 6001 W. 111th St., Alsip, IL 60803, following the Mass.
In lieu of flowers, please send memorial gifts to: Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel, 5401 S. Cornell Ave., Chicago, IL 60615-5664, or via secure online Giving at www.midwestaugustinians.org/donate to support the care of elderly and infirm friars and the seminary formation of young friars, will be appreciated.