Father Lawrence F. Lyons
November 25, 1928 – February 26, 2019
FORT LAUDERDALE | Funeral services will take place Monday, March 4, at St. Helen Church here for Father Lawrence Lyons, a former Edmundite priest who served in the missions in Venezuela until coming to South Florida in 1974.
Father Lyons, who turned 90 in November, died Feb. 26. He had been a priest for 64 years and retired in 1993. For many years after his retirement, he served as chaplain at St. John’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, where he also resided.
Lawrence Francis Lyons was born Nov. 25, 1928 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and ordained June 5, 1954, in Burlington, Vermont, for the Society of Saint Edmund.
He obtained a bachelor’s degree from St. Michael’s College in Winooski, Vermont, and a second bachelor’s in theology from St. Edmund’s Seminary in Randolph, Vermont. He then studied for a master’s in philosophy at the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies of the University of Toronto, and obtained a doctorate in philosophical theology from the Catholic University of America.
In addition to English, he understood French and was fluent in Spanish.
After ordination, he served for about a decade as a missionary in Caracas, Venezuela, describing his work as “everything from barrio work, community development, mission promotion, literacy classes, etc., to seminary administration and teaching, work with charitable foundations and a university professorship.”
In fact, he helped establish the national seminary in Venezuela and served there as dean and professor. But after seeing “the ever-increasing number of well-trained Venezuelans” able to administer and teach in the country’s Catholic institutions, he felt called to the Spanish-speaking apostolate in the U.S.
“I begin to feel that perhaps the Spanish-speaking of my own country are almost as much in need of trained personnel as are the Venezuelans,” he wrote in applying to come to the Archdiocese of Miami in the fall of 1973. “I would like to help them if I can.”
He also said he wanted to continue “a limited academic role” because of his background in education.
In August 1974, Father Lyons was appointed to the faculty of St. Vincent de Paul Regional Seminary in Boynton Beach, where he served until 1980. He also taught for a year (1988-1989) at St. John Vianney Seminary in Miami.
While teaching at St. John Vianney he served as parochial vicar at St. Timothy Church in Miami. He also served as parochial vicar at St. Bartholomew in Miramar (1989-1991), St. Bernadette in Hollywood (1991), Our Lady of Divine Providence in Miami (1992) and St. John the Apostle in Hialeah (1992-1993).
He was incardinated as a priest of the Archdiocese of Miami Aug. 22, 1990, and retired Nov. 24, 1993.
The viewing for Father Lyons will begin at 9 a.m. at St. Helen, followed by the funeral Mass at 11 a.m. The church is located at 3033 N.W. 33 Ave., Fort Lauderdale.
- Visitation Monday, March 4, 2019
- Funeral Service Monday, March 4, 2019
IN THE CARE OF