Henry Lawler, OFM
1916 – 1977
Fr. Henry Vincent Lawler, OFM, was born May 16, 1916 in Jessup, Pa. He graduated from the University of Scranton and taught school for two years. Fr. Henry entered the novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary, Paterson, N.J., in 1939, professing temporary vows one year later. He made his solemn profession and was ordained in 1943.
He served as Provincial Secretary to three successive Provincials before joining the Province’s Mission Band. For many years, he was a very popular preacher. In 1958, Fr. Henry joined the friar staff at Our Lady’s Chapel, New Bedford, Mass., and later returned to St. Francis of Assisi Parish, New York City, where he initiated his ministry among the chemically dependent.
Fr. Henry’s accessibility, genuine concern and empathy for the addicted produced untold wonders in the lives of laypeople and religious alike. He was the guiding spirit of the Alvernia friars within the Province and served his brothers as a member of the Sick, Aged and Retired Committee.
He died on Feb. 20, 1977 in New York City. Fr. Henry was 60 years old, a professed friar for 36 years and a priest for 33 years.