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Let Me Be a Light: The Faith Journey of Father Ron Lawson
both by Richard L. Rotelli
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Let Me Be a Light: The Faith Journey of Father Ron Lawson

Father Ron Lawson
A 7th generation Vermont Yankee, born in Montpelier VT to a Methodist family, Father Ron Lawson has led a fascinating life…. And continues to do so. Graduating with the class of 1956 from Middlebury College, taking his degree in Russian, he had a two-year commitment to US Army Intelligence in the field of counterespionage. He stayed with the Army for another two years attaining the rank of 1st Lieutenant. Assigned to West Berlin after completing a special dual language course (German and Polish) taught in Hawkins Barracks in Oberammergau, Bavaria, he continued as a “spy catcher”. On Christmas Eve, 1959 his life began to change as he felt the strong call to Catholicism. A year later, he was baptized and confirmed a Catholic. He left the Army in 1961, just as the Berlin Wall was being erected, to return to the US to begin his priestly studies at St. John’s Seminary. His spiritual mentor, Maria Von Trapp (of The Sound of Music fame) provided significant help to him in his developing religious life. Ordained in May 1970 he began an extraordinary life; first as a parish priest, then a high school chaplain for 12 years, and then rejoining the Army with the rank of Captain as a Catholic military chaplain. He was in West Berlin again in 1989 when the infamous Berlin Wall came down. His adventures and travels as he fulfilled his assignments read more like fiction than fact. He served in “Desert Storm” as a chaplain in 1991, suffering physical and emotional disabilities. Leaving the Army in Oct.1992 at age 58, he spent the next 10 years with the US Dept. of Veterans Affairs as a V.A. Chaplain. He is now Senior Priest in Residence at St. Mary Church in Chelmsford, MA where the author of this book met him and enjoyed capturing his life story.

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