Rev. Joseph Douglas Lawson
SH Pastor 1997 – Retired 2005
Born August 31, 1933 – Died January 14, 2022 (88 YO)
Fr. Doug was the fourth of his parents’ seven children. He is survived by brothers, Dr. John W. Lawson of Clemson, SC, and Mark E. Lawson of Ashville, NC, and his sister, Delores Lawson Harris of California.
Fr. Doug was predeceased by his parents, Thomas J. Lawson and Gladys Burnette (Wilson) Lawson, two brothers, Rev. Robert Lawson (known by many of our parishioners) and Dr. Thomas Lawson, and a sister, Marie Lawson Jernigan.
Their very proud father was known to have said, “I have three sons who can put people to sleep – two priests and a nurse-anesthetist!”
Father Doug Lawson began his 43-year pastoral career at the age of 16 when he entered the Franciscan seminary in NY. At the end of his novitiate year, he took his vows and became a member of the Franciscan order. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1962. Fr. Doug’s vocation led him to many missions and assignments including: four years in Brazil as a missionary, returning to Iona College to receive his M.S.Ed in counseling; Mission Procurator in Union City, NJ; Chaplin at St. Francis Medical Center; Civilian Chaplin at Hancock AFB, New York; and the US Army. Father Doug retired from the army in 1995 after 21 years of service. He left the Franciscan order in order to join the Diocese of Raleigh and return to his NC roots. He was assigned as Pastor to the Infant of Prague Church in Jacksonville, NC. He became pastor of Sacred Heart in 1997 and Pastor Emeritus after his retirement in 2005.
– contributed by W. Anderson 2005, edited Jan. 2022.