Msgr. Robert L. Lawler, 83, Longtime North Country Priest


Msgr. Robert L. Lawler, 83, died at St. Joseph's Home, Ogdensburg, NY on August 29, 2013.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Tuesday, September 3 at 2 p.m. at St. Mary's Cathedral with Most Reverend Terry R. LaValley, Bishop of Ogdensburg presiding, and the priests of the diocese concelebrating. The homilist will be Most Reverend Bishop Robert J. Cunningham, Bishop of Syracuse.

There will be calling hours at St. Mary's, Waddington 6-8  p.m. on Sunday, Sept 1, 2013. There will be the reception of the body at St. Mary's Cathedral by Fr. Joseph Morgan, Rector of the Cathedral and Vicar General on Monday, September 2, 2013-with calling hours 2-4 p.m. and 6-8 p.m. with Evening Prayer at 7:30 p.m. The funeral Mass is  at 2 p.m.

Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery in Waddington at 5 p.m.

Arrangements are with Phillips Memorial Home, Waddington, NY. A reception following the Mass will be at the Knights of Columbus, Ogdensburg.

Msgr. Lawler was born in Oneonta, NY on November 8, 1930, son of the late John and Florence Rose Lawler. After graduating from Oneonta High School, Msgr. Lawler attended Holy Cross College in Massachusetts for a year and then entered Wadhams Hall in 1949. He completed his theological studies at Theological College in Washington, D.C.  and was ordained at St. Mary's Cathedral, Ogdensburg on May 19, 1956 by Most Rev. Walter P. Kellenberg.  

Msgr. Lawler's first assignment was assistant pastor at Holy Family, Watertown and was appointed assistant secretary of Catholic Charities. In 1957 he became Executive Secretary of Catholic Charities in Ogdensburg and worked with St. Joseph's Home.

In 1967 he was made Papal Chamberlain and in 1976 he was named Prelate of Honor of His Holiness.  Msgr. later retired from Catholic Charities and was appointed pastor of Brownville in 1986.  In 1994 he was appointed Vicar General for the diocese and a year later became pastor of St. Mary's, Canton.

In 1996 he became pastor of St. Mary's, Waddington. In 1999, after Bishop Loverde was named Bishop of the Diocese of Arlington, Msgr. Lawler was elected Diocesan Administrator until Bishop Barbarito was appointed Bishop of Ogdensburg. He was reappointed Vicar General in 2000 and in 2002 he was appointed pastor of St. Mary's Waddington and Church of St. John the Baptist in Madrid.

In 2003, Msgr. was once again elected Diocesan Administrator when Bishop Barbarito was appointed Bishop of Palm Beach, Fla. With the arrival of Bishop Cunningham in 2004, Msgr. was named Vicar General.

In 2012, Msgr. Lawler retired as pastor of St. Mary's Waddington and St. John the Baptist, Madrid. Msgr. Lawler resided at Notre Dame Rectory during his retirement.

Msgr. Lawler was predeceased by his brothers James Lawler, M.D. and John Lawler.

He is survived by his brother Richard and Sally Lawler and two nephews, Michael and Kate Lawler, their children Mark and Maggie and Patrick and Kathy Lawler and their children Brian and Nathan. Other nephews are John Adams, James Adams, Thomas and William Adams and a niece Bonnie Adams.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Joseph's Nursing Home, 950 Linden Street, Ogdensburg, NY.

Arrangements are under the care and direction of the Phillips Memorial Home in Waddington, where online condolences may be made to

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
, Watertown, NY
More On Demand

Funeral Homes Listings

Jefferson County:

Bossuot-Lundy Funeral Home, Carthage

Calarco, D.L. Funeral Home, Watertown

Costello Funeral Service, Alexandria Bay

Cummings Funeral Service
Watertown - 315-782-0830
Clayton - 315-686-5101

Frederick Bros Funeral Home, Theresa

Hart & Bruce Funeral Home, Watertown

Johnson Funeral Home, Dexter

Reed & Benoit Funeral Home, Watertown

Cleveland Funeral Home, Watertown

Cleveland Funeral Home,,Cape Vincent

Becker-Cleveland Funeral Home, Chaumont

Bezanilla-McGraw Funeral Home, Carthage

Carpenter-Stoodley, Belleville

T.R. Jetty Funeral Home, Clayton

Piddock Funeral Home, Adams

Lewis County

Adirondack Funeral Home, Croghan

Iseneker Funeral Home, Lowville

Scanlon Funeral Home, Croghan

Scanlon Funeral Home, Harrisville

Sundquist Funeral Home, Lowville

St. Lawrence County

IslandView Funeral Services, Morristown

Hammill Funeral Home, Winthrop

Buck Funeral Home, Norwood

Fox-McLellan Funeral Home, Ogdensburg

French Funeral Home, Gouverneur

Green Funeral Home, Gouverneur

Phillips Memorial Home, Massena

Allen-Nichols Funeral Home, Ogdensburg

Frary Funeral Home, Ogdensburg

Lawrence Funeral Home, Canton

O'Leary Funeral Home, Canton

Allen-Denesha Funeral Home, De Kalb Junction
(315) 347-2122

French Funeral Home Inc., Gouverneur

French Funeral Home Inc., Edwards

French Funeral Home Inc., Star Lake

This content requires the latest Adobe Flash Player and a browser with JavaScript enabled. Click here for a free download of the latest Adobe Flash Player.

What's On TonightFull Schedule