1909 – 1994 (November 21)
Robert Vincent Lawrence was born July 19, 1909 in McSherrystown, Pennsylvania to Francis J. and Mary Lawrence. He entered the novitiate on September 9, 1928 at New Hamburg, New York, and professed simple vows in the Order on September 10, 1929. After studies at Villanova College, Villanova, Pennsylvania, and at Augustinian College, Washington, D.C., he was ordained a to the priesthood on June 9, 1936 in Washington.
Father Lawrence earned a Master's Degree in History from Catholic University of America, Washington, in 1937, and 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 Province of Our Mother of Good Counsel was formed in 1941, he became a member of that Province. While stationed in Rockford, Father Lawrence traveled to St. Adrian Church, Chicago Illinois, each week-end to minister there. He was a teacher at St. Rita High School, Chicago, from 1962 to 1968, and served there first as sub-prior and then as prior.
He 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.
Father Lawrence died in his sleep November 21, 1994 while recuperating from an illness at Mercy Rehabilitation Center, Chicago Heights, Illinois.
He is remembered most fondly for his rosary makers, a group of devoted people in Rockford who made more than 300,000 rosaries beginning in 1983. He had a great devotion to the Blessed Mother and the daily praying of the Rosary. He was a kind and mild-mannered individual and wanted everybody to have a happy heart.
Father Lawrence is buried in the Augustinian plot at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Alsip, Illinois.