Catholic Diocese of Youngstown Logo

Joan Lawson Appointed as Diocesan Archivist

PRESS RELEASE

March 8, 2022

MORE INFO: Joan Lawson, Diocesan Archivist, (330) 744-8451, jlawson@youngstowndiocese.org

ADDITIONAL MEDIA CONTACT: Justin Huyck, Coordinator of Media Relations, (330) 744-8451, ext. 320, jhuyck@youngstowndiocese.org

YOUNGSTOWN, OH — The Most Reverend David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, announces the appointment of Joan Lawson as Diocesan Archivist for the Diocese of Youngstown. Lawson assumed her position effective March 1, 2022. The diocesan archivist is a new position, providing administrative and policy leadership for the diocesan archives, records management program, and electronic document management systems. In her new role, Lawson will serve as liaison with those accessing the archives, including diocesan offices, parishes, schools, and researchers. Lawson will also serve as historian for special publications and programs.

The appointment of Lawson as diocesan archivist, within the Office of the Chancellor, follows the earlier appointment of Father David Misbrenner as curator of the patrimony. Bishop Bonnar comments, “We need to give joyful witness to our history. It has been my dream since I arrived to establish a diocesan archives. In fact, it is necessary and obligatory for every diocese. Joan is the perfect person to lead our efforts to care for and document our history. With her experience and training in both history and ministry, she will help us dream of new ways to tell our story and build on that story as we live the mission of the Church.”

Lawson, a native of Youngstown, earned a bachelor’s degree in history from Youngstown State University, a Master of Arts in History and Certificate in Historical Agency Administration from Northeastern University in Boston, and a second Certificate in Historical Agency Administration from the Seminar for Historical Administration in Williamsburg, Virginia. After extensive professional experience in public history, she later earned a Master of Religious Education degree from Loyola University of New Orleans in their extension program (LIMEX) with the Diocese of Youngstown. She has served in professional parish ministry at St. Paul in Salem, St. Brendan in Youngstown, Immaculate Heart of Mary in Austintown, and St. Michael in Canfield. Since 2018, Lawson served as Consultant in the Diocese of Youngstown’s Office of Faith Formation and Lay Ecclesial Ministry.

As a historian, Lawson was Assistant Director of the Mahoning Valley Historical Society in Youngstown, overseeing collections management, exhibition, education, and publications. In Massachusetts, she served at the Adams National Historic Site, the Quincy Historical Society, and the Danvers Historical Society (curating materials related to the Salem witchcraft trials, among other historical pieces). She also served in the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland, Belfast, for the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, as a researcher in database on Irish emigration to America.

Commenting on her new role, Lawson says, “I feel blessed to be able to bring to church ministry my understanding of history and how to preserve and organize pieces of the past. I’m excited to be able to safeguard the materials themselves and to find in them stories that can inspire and guide us as God’s faithful people. As we increase our understanding of the path of the development of our faith communities, we shed light on the journey of our own times, and on the road ahead of us as we continue to spread the Gospel.”

Lawson has been married to Bill Lawson since 2003. She has two stepchildren and a first grandchild on the way.

The Diocese of Youngstown was established on May 15, 1943, with parishes within the diocese dating back over 200 years. In 1943, six northeastern counties in the state of Ohio were taken from the Diocese of Cleveland and were formed into the Diocese of Youngstown. The Diocese of Youngstown officially celebrated its 75th Anniversary beginning in May 2018. 

###

Share on Social Media

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Coat of Arms
News
Merger of St. Barbara, St. Joseph, and St. Mary Parishes, Massillon, and Establishment of Divine Mercy Parish

Press Release | After a period of consultation among parish representatives and the diocese’s presbyteral council, The Most Rev. David J. Bonnar, Bishop of Youngstown, has accepted the recommendation of Rev. Maciej (Matthew) Mankowski, pastor of Massillon’s St. Barbara Parish, St. Joseph Parish and St. Mary Parish to merge the three parishes, effective January 1, 2023. The new parish will include all three church buildings which will retain their names as customary in Church tradition, while the parish itself will be known as “Divine Mercy Parish.”

News
Diocese of Youngstown announces The Catholic Echo, a diocesan magazine and multimedia hub, succeeding The Catholic Exponent newspaper

Press Release | The Diocese of Youngstown is pleased to announce a new print product, The Catholic Echo magazine, debuting in Spring 2023. Building on the 77-year legacy of The Catholic Exponent newspaper, which will produce its final issue in February 2023, The Catholic Echo magazine, website and supporting multimedia products will highlight all aspects of Catholic life across the six counties of the diocese.

DOY Favicon
News
Vatican Confirms Closure of Saint Lucy Church

Press Release | The Vatican’s Dicastery for the Clergy has confirmed the closure of Saint Lucy Church in Campbell. The decree from the Dicastery was in response to an appeal and was dated September 21, 2022.