The Rev. Jay Lawlor Biography

The Rev. Jay Lawlor is a priest in the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement (a.k.a. The Episcopal Church). Fr. Lawlor is a follower of Jesus and seeks to make known the reconciling love, justice, and peace of God in Christ through compassionate, inspired, and collaborative leadership. He has a passion for liturgy, preaching, formation, and social justice.

As a priest, he empowers and nurtures ministry of all the baptized. He seeks to identify, train, and support all ministers (lay and ordained) as we journey together. As a minister of Word and Sacraments, the Rev. Jay Lawlor he proclaims the Gospel of Jesus Christ, declares God’s forgiveness, pronounces God’s blessings, administer the sacraments, and inspires, invites, and equips others for ministry. He does this through preaching (to inspire growth in faith and mission), helping others discern their gifts through conversation and prayer, offering education/training (both within the congregation and through diocesan and wider church programs), and ongoing support for the ministries people are called to.

As a priest in a community he listens deeply to members of the congregation and does his best to assist them in matching their gifts with the needs of the congregation, diocese, and wider community. Perhaps this can be thought of as being a “connector” or “facilitator” of people to ministry where their greatest passions meet the Church’s, community’s, and world’s greatest needs.

In addition to serving as a parish priest, the Rev. Jay Lawlor is also passionate about one of Jesus’ central messages: economic justice for the poor. For over twenty years he has been active in issues of economic and social justice, particularly in areas of sustainable development.

Since his ordination to the priesthood in 2003, Fr. Lawlor has served as a parish priest in several dioceses of The Episcopal Church, and has been active on numerous diocesan committees and church-wide organizations. His ministry continues to connect the response of faith communities to issues of economic and social justice, and he has worked with prominent church leaders, such as Archbishop Desmond M. Tutu, and world-renown economist Dr. Jeffrey D. Sachs (Columbia University).

The Rev. Jay Lawlor is the author of two books: Faithful Action: How Each Christian Can End Poverty (2008) and The Church and International Development: Seeking Justice and Peace to the World’s Poor (1999), and a number of articles and papers. His sermon “Reconcilers in a Violent World” was published in the book Get Up Off Your Knees: Preaching the U2 Catalog (Beth Maynard & Raewynne Whiteley, editors). In 2002 he assisted in editing Waging Reconciliation: God’s Mission in a Time of Globalization and Crises (Ian T. Douglas, editor).

Fr. Jay was ordained a Priest on May 31, 2003 in the Diocese of Massachusetts. He received his M.Div. from Episcopal Divinity School in 2002, a M.A. in Economics from the University of Connecticut in 1995, and his B.A. in Managerial Economics (with honors in Economics) from Stonehill College in 1993.

Prior to his ordination, Jay worked as an economist at the Center for International Development at Harvard University (while Dr. Sachs served as director). He has been a member of the Fellowship of Saint John, Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE) since 1997.

Jay has been married to his wife Angela since July 2002 and they are parents to Nathaniel (age 16), whom they adopted when he was four years old, and their family dog, Rocket.

The Rev. Jay Lawlor with the Rt. Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows
The Rev. Jay Lawlor with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry
Jay with Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Jay with Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs