Rev. Robert V. Lawrence, O.S.A. (1909-1994)
Rev. Robert V. Lawrence, O.S.A. entered eternal life on November 21, 1994.
Robert Vincent Lawrence was born on July 19, 1909 in McSherrystown, Pennsylvania to Francis J. and Mary Lawrence.
He entered the Augustinian Novitiate on September 9, 1928 at New Hamburg, New York. He professed vows in the Order of St. Augustine on September 10, 1929.
After studies at Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, and at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., he was ordained a priest on June 9, 1936 in Washington.
Father Lawrence earned a Master's Degree in History in 1937 from Catholic University of America, Washington. He also did advanced studies at DePaul University, Chicago.
From 1937 to 1962, Father Lawrence was assigned to St. Thomas High School, Rockford, Illinois. When the new Augustinian Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel (Augustinians of the Midwest) was formed in 1941, he became a member of that Province.
While stationed in Rockford, Father Lawrence traveled to St. Adrian Church, Chicago, each weekend to minister there.
He was a teacher at St. Rita High School, Chicago, from 1962 to 1968. During that time, he served first as Sub-Prior (Assistant Superior) and then as Prior (Superior) of the Augustinian community there.
Father Lawrence returned to Rockford in 1968, serving as Associate Pastor and then Pastor of his beloved St. Mary Parish.
In 1992, because of failing health, he was transferred to St. Nicholas of Tolentine Monastery, Olympia Fields, Illinois, where he resided in retirement.
He died in his sleep on November 21, 1994 while recuperating from an illness at Mercy Rehabilitation Center, Chicago Heights, Illinois.
Father Lawrence is remembered most fondly for his Rosary makers -- a group of devoted people in Rockford who, beginning in 1983, made more than 300,000 Rosaries. He had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother and the daily praying of the Rosary. He was a kind and mild-mannered individual to all he met and he wanted everybody to have a happy heart.
Father Lawrence is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.